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Annual gala fundraiser to benefit Sanibel Historical Museum, Village

By Staff | Feb 8, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, 950 Dunlop Road, Sanibel.

The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village will host an evening of dinner and dancing at its annual gala fundraiser, with the proceeds to go toward enhancing its programs and community impact.

The Let’s Get Historical Gala will be held on Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. at The Community House on Sanibel. This year’s theme is “Leave Your Footsteps in the Sand,” and tickets are now on sale for $125 each.

“We still have quite a few available,” Executive Director Emilie Alfino said.

The non-profit began holding the gala about five years ago.

“We had some serious maintenance needs,” she said.

Emilie Alfino

The year also marked a milestone anniversary for its first building.

“We used the opportunity to begin a program of fundraising,” Alfino said.

Prior to the gala, smaller events like luncheons were used to bring in needed funding.

“They was great, but we really needed to step it up,” she said.

The annual gala is now the non-profit’s only fundraiser.

The 2018 event will feature live entertainment by the band Kelly & Shelly. A husband-and-wife duo, the couple have been performing for more than 25 years and bring to the stage a versatile style.

“They play a real variety and it’s geared toward dancing,” Alfino said.

The Sanibel Catering Company by Bailey’s will serve up a plated dinner of filet medallions and shrimp, chicken marsala and pesto-crusted Atlantic salmon. Bailey’s is also the grand sponsor.

The gala was previously held in tents on the grounds, vulnerable to the weather and bugs.

“This is the first time we’re holding it at The Community House,” she said.

Asked about this year’s theme, event chair Sherry Halleran explained the decision.

“We chose our theme because footprints leave impressions,” she said. “We are following in the footsteps of others who had the foresight, as the Sanibel community was changing, to want to save our island’s past and fund the future.”

During the evening, there will be some presentations on the non-profit’s recent successes.

“They’ll talk about our accomplishments this past year and, of course, talk about our needs for the future,” Alfino said.

Last year, more than $118,000 was raised, enabling for the:

– Construction of a facsimile wharf

– Start of renovations on the Packing House

– Funding of the Twilight Talks

– Replacement of the rotted windows in Shore Haven

– Replacement of the garden fence and new irrigation installation

– Addition of five benches for visitors

– Purchase of 60 new chairs for visitors

“We were more geared toward capital and maintenance improvements,” she said.

“This year, we want to increase our programs,” Alfino added.

The 2018 list of priorities includes:

– Making the museum more hands-on and child-friendly

– Producing a new orientation video for visitors

– Updating displays to include a timeline and presenting a visual interpretation of the Sanibel Plan

– Improving signage and repairing some furniture

– Improving the electrical capabilities of the buildings

“We had a long list that we had to whittle down,” she said.

The deadline to purchase tickets is Feb. 10.

Alfino encouraged the community to pick them up.

“It’s important to support the historical village because we need to know where we came from,” she said, noting that Sanibel started out as an agricultural community. “You get a much better appreciation for what the island was like.”

Attendees are also guaranteed to have a good time.

“We always have a lot of fun,” Alfino said.

For tickets or more information, contact 239-472-4648 or info@sanibelmuseum.org.

Sponsorships are still available at $500 and $1,000.

At 950 Dunlop Road, the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is $10 for adults ages 18 and older; children and members are free.

For more information, visit online at www.sanibelmuseum.org.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way.