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Time is running out to reserve tickets for 2nd annual San-Cap Cracker Fest

By Staff | Oct 28, 2010

The Sanibel-Captiva START (Solutions to Avoid Red Tide, Inc.) chapter will be hosting their second annual San-Cap Cracker Fest at The Bait Box on Friday, Nov. 5 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“One of the main focuses of START is red tide. The last 18 months, we haven’t had a whole lot of red tide — but that doesn’t mean its gone. We have to realize that we haven’t come up with a solution,” said START Chapter President Dr. Bruce Neill, also the executive director for the Sanibel Sea School. “We want to create awareness that there are organizations such as START that are working to preserve water quality and marine habitats.”

After last year’s Cracker Fest, Neill began collaborative efforts between START and the Sanibel Sea School to construct a web-based tool to educate Lee County teachers and students about local coastal and marine issues.

“One of the things we did with the money from last year was create an online water quality education portal, a streaming module called Coastal Classroom, so that any school can supplement their learning,” Neill said. A presentation of The Coastal Classroom will be made at this year’s Cracker Fest.

And while funding future local START programs is the ultimate goal of Cracker Fest, according to Neill and Event Chair Jean Woodring, attendees are going to have a heck of a good time raising all that money!

“It’s all about the food,” said Woodring, who co-owns the Cracker Fest venue, The Bait Box, with husband Ralph. “We’ll have some barbecued wild hog, Ralph is catching mullet to fry and Baileys is providing roasted corn and cheese grits!”

“It really is a celebration of traditional Florida living,” Neill agreed. “We’ll also have live music from the Troublestarters and, we might even get the cast nets out,” Neill said. “It’s certainly the only fundraiser on the island that’s held in a dirt parking lot!”

Neill and Woodring hope that this year’s event will help them raise enough money to continue developing educational community outreach programs for START.

“I think it’s going to be even better this year,” Woodring said. “The silent auctions has a huge variety of items — books, overnight stays and some beach goods. But the live auction will be a surprise.”

Neill is also keeping the auction items a mystery, but he provided one cryptic clue. “You can find things in our auctions you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else — genuine, authentic things.”

To find out what auction goodies Woodring and Neill are keeping a secret, register for the second annual San-Cap Cracker Fest — but you better hurry!

Tickets are $75 per person and are available by presale only and limited to the first 300 guests to make a reservation.

To reserve a space, send your check to:


P.O. Box 1511

Sanibel, FL


For more information about the 2010 San-Cap Cracker Fest, call Jean Woodring at 472-0334, send an email to sancapcrackerfest@yahoo.com or go to www.sancapcrackerfest.com.

The Sanibel-Captiva chapter of START is part of a statewide organization headquartered in Sarasota, Fla. Visit the website at www.start1.com for more information.