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With a handful of members, Optimists deliver plenty

By Staff | Mar 4, 2015

For a small service group, the Sanibel Captiva Optimist Club packs a wallop.

About 20 club members stage a number of annual events, including a popular auto rally/treasure hunt in July, kid basketball and archery and pizza lunches at the Sanibel Recreation Center, summer fishing projects, holiday walks and fund-raiser proceeds to the nonprofit FISH of Sanibel/Captiva. And most of the projects and proceeds directly benefit children, with scholarships and other donations from the club’s busy schedule.

“The Club is very, very interested in helping children,” Optimist board member John Jones said. “It’s what our organization does.”

The San-Cap Optimist Club’s next event is the 6th annual Wine and Food Fest “Sanibel Uncorked.” The event is March 8. Activities are 1-5 p.m. at the Lily & Co. shop on Tarpon Bay Road across from Bailey’s General Store. Free valet parking will be available.

Distributers of many fine wines will have tasting stations to compare the selections. In addition to the wines, a number of local/exceptional chefs demonstrate preparation methods for some of their favorite dishes (with a taste for the onlookers), including Teh Peng with Timbers Restaurant, Janis Wallace of George & Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grill, Karl Hamme of Bailey’s. Between cooking demonstrations, hor d’oeuvres will be served, also arranged by Chef Karl Hamme and Richard Johnson, both of Bailey’s.

A silent auction with many fine prizes will accompany the tastings. Items such as gourmet wines, jewelry, artwork, hotel and golf packages, and sports outings will be offered. Most notable will be an opportunity to bid on dinners prepared and or served at home by several of the chefs, Jones said.

Tickets for the event are at Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, the Sanibel Caf, at the door, and from members of the Optimist Club. Ticket donations are priced at $30, $25 for designated drivers. Each paid guest receives an engraved, commemorative wine glass. A 50/50 raffle will be available also.

The Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club is a non-profit organization, with proceeds from the Food and Wine Fest applied to the current six college scholarships funded by the Club.

For more information, call (239) 472-0836 or visit www.SanCapOptimist.org.