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Proposed restriction of off-island advertising for special events on Sanibel

By Staff | Sep 12, 2017

To the editor:

As co-chairpersons of the 2018 Sanibel Shell Festival, we are very concerned about the possibility of restrictions being put on the off-island advertising for the Sanibel Shell Festival. For the past 81 years, the Sanibel Shell Festival has functioned as a non-profit event with all the proceeds going back into the community. In the past five years, the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club has given out $121,000 in grants and scholarships. Approximately $300,000 has been raised by the Sanibel Community Association Shell Crafters in those five years. This is used to maintain the Sanibel Community House. Raising this much money for our community without the use of off-island newspaper advertising would be impossible. The people who come on the island for the Shell Festival also spend time in Sanibel’s restaurants and shops. Advertising the Shell Festival is a win-win event for both of our organizations and the community.

Part of the Shell Festival’s success is a result of being on Sanibel as an event. We implore the City Council not to succumb to parochial protectionism that can “kill the goose that laid the golden egg.” Long-term strategies need to be paramount over short-term reactions to the traffic challenges.

We remain committed to supporting both our island and our greater community through our annual Sanibel Shell Festival.

Joyce Matthys

Mary Burton

Sue Schoenherr