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Mardi Gras exceeds CHR goals

By Staff | Feb 22, 2013

SHANNEN HAYES The first Mardi Gras fundraising event on Feb. 9 netted Sanibel CHR more than $12,000, far exceeding the organization's goal.

Community Housing & Resources (CHR) on Sanibel is basking in the glory of its first community fundraising event and proceeds headlong into its second next month. They have high hopes that the second is as successful as the first.

CHR’s Mardi Gras event on Feb. 9 was a big hit with those who attended and exceeded the non-profit organization’s fundraising goal.

CHR board of directors development committee chair Tim Garmager reported to the board Monday night that the Mardi Gras netted the organization more than $12,000, just over $2,000 more than the targeted goal.

“I was stunned by how beautiful it was,” said Garmager. “It was just amazing. Even my two kids were saying that it was amazing. The amount is remarkable and the (silent) auction proceeds wound up to be 80 percent of the total value of the items. Everything went off without a hitch, like the games and things.”

CHR board chair Richard Johnson echoed Garmager’s assessment.

“I have not heard anything but positive comments from the Mardi Gras,” said Johnson.

The next community fundraising event for CHR is the first FGCU-Sanibel Invitational Golf Tournament set for Saturday, March 16 at the Sanibel Island Golf Club. The event is a foursome shamble format with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun state. Each foursome will have three “amateur” players paired with one member of the FGCU men’s golf team.

For those interested in contributing to the golf and the CHR cause, the entry fee is $100 per player, which includes golf, snacks, awards luncheon and prizes for the top three teams. Hole and other sponsorship opportunities are being accepted, starting at $100. Kerri Maw is the sponsorship contact at (239) 292-4944 or kerrimaw@comcast.net. Call the pro shop at (239) 472-2626 to enter the event as a player.

“We want them to think this is one of the best events they will play in,” said Garmager. “I know FGCU is eager to bet more presence on the islands. While we will make some money, but it means more exposure for CHR.”

According to CHR executive director Kelly Collini, a presentation was made to United Way of Lee County for the purpose of perhaps becoming a United Way funding recipient in the future.

The CHR board also learned that the long-awaited web site project is close at hand. The board as a whole will get a chance to review the site next week with the online launch just ahead.

On the financial front, CHR’s rent collection in January was at 100 percent once again.

“Our January cash is over budget and expenses are in line for the month,” said board treasurer Melissa Rice. “This is because of the St. Michael’s and All Angels donation and the membership drive income. We are in good shape.”

The organization, which provides affordable, below-market housing on Samibel, is still wrestling with a shortage of volunteers to help with maintenance of units and grounds. The board and its committees continue to explore ways to recruit volunteers and is seeking a volunteer coordinator.

The next board meeting is on March 18 with the annual meeting set for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, at the CHR offices on Library Way.