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Restaurant grand opening to benefit ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society

By Staff | Feb 2, 2011

Stacie Krupa’s "Ocean Reggae Block Party," one of 28 pieces to go on the auction block at Corner Grill.

George & Wendy’s Corner Grill on Sanibel Island is celebrating its grand opening with a fine-art auction to benefit “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) on Friday, Feb. 11.

The event, called Art Privé, features the critically acclaimed art of Stacie Krupa, an Islamorada, Fla.-based expressionistic artist whose work decorates the restaurants walls.

Krupa, a featured favorite in HGTV’s Islamorada Dream Home episode, characterizes her flamboyant, vibrant style as island-inspired and emotive.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank all our friends and supporters, to showcase the incredible art our patrons are raving about, and to support the cause of wildlife through the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society,” said Wendy Schnapp, restaurant co-owner with husband George and a member of the DDWS board of directors.

The grand opening begins at 5 p.m. with cash service of creative cocktails and a limited nosh menu. Admission is free. A silent auction of 18 pieces will be conducted throughout the reception; a live auction for 10 select pieces begins at 8 p.m. Twenty-five percent of auction proceeds will nourish DDWS coffers.

Krupa will be on hand to meet and greet guests. For more information about her and the event, visit www.georgeandwendyscornergrill.com, or call the Corner Grill at 395-1263.

“Wendy and George have been incredibly supportive of the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society,” said DDWS Executive Director Birgie Vertesch. “In addition to this auction, they donate 5 percent of all art sales throughout the year to us. What a great model they are for giving back to the island attraction that draws nearly 800,000 visitors each year.”

As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations like the Schnapps’ and Refuge Nature Shop proceeds.

To join DDWS and support the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Vertesch at 239-292-0566 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.