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Family fun kickoff to ‘Ding’ Darling Days offers free archery course

By Staff | Oct 3, 2013

New this year for "Ding" Darling Days: archery skills clinics on Family Fun Day, Oct. 20. PHOTO PROVIDED.

New this year for “Ding” Darling Days’ Family Fun Day kickoff on Sunday, Oct. 20, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) will be offering youth archery skills clinics to the schedule of free programs and activities.

Certified archery instructors Ben Nottingham from Florida Panther NWR and Dave DeFonzo from the Sanibel Recreation Department will be offering introductory instruction to children from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at multiple stations set up in the grassy area between the refuge and Sanibel School parking lots.

Family Fun Day, a free day valued at $75 for a family of four, will include life-size wildlife puppet presentations, live animal presentations, refuge tram tours, guided trail walks, nature crafts, a butterfly house and touch tanks, and giveaways.

The day kicks off a week of nature activities and programs at the refuge Oct. 20-26. For more information and a full “Ding” Darling Days schedule, visit www.dingdarlingdays.com.

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge sponsors “Ding” Darling Days with support from Tarpon Bay Explorers, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and other private and business partners. ??”Ding” Darling Days 2013 sponsors include:

-ROSEATE SPOONBILL: Doc Ford’s Sanibel Rum Bar & Grille.

-GREAT BLUE HERON: Arthur Printing, Bailey’s General Store, Island Sun, Jerry’s Foods, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, Sanibel Captiva Trust Company, Jim & Patty Sprankle, West Wind Inn.

-REDDISH EGRET: Mike & Terry Baldwin, Big Red Q Quickprint, Caloosa Tent & Rental, Casa Ybel Resort, Cedar Chest Fine Jewelry, Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva, Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club, ‘Tween Waters Inn.

-SNOWY EGRET: Art & Susan Cassell, Barefoot Charley’s Painting Co., Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP), Congress Jewelers, Dan Hahn Custom Builders, Florida Weekly, George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille, Good Wheels, Grounds by Greenways, Island Events, Island Therapy Center, Mast Family Culligan, Nave Plumbing, Over Easy Caf, Panther Printing, Sanibel Art & Frame, Wendy & George Schnapp, She Sells Sea Shells, Winston & Barbara Spurgeon, Suncatcher’s Dream.

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 and Refuge Nature Shop proceeds.

To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Vertesch at 292-0566, 472-1100 ext. 4, or dingdarlingsociety@gmail.com.