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Fundraiser at The Clam Shack to benefit Captains for Clean Water

By Staff | Aug 22, 2018

Island residents and visitors have an opportunity to enjoy live music and win some great prizes, all while helping to raise funds for a non-profit organization focused on improving water quality.

The Clam Shack on Sanibel will hold a fundraiser for Captains for Clean Water on Aug. 25 from 2 to 8 p.m. at the restaurant. Organized by owners and siblings Cara Lasalle and Patrick Hyland, the event will feature entertainment by local musicians, a 50/50 raffle and Chinese auction with a range of items.

Lasalle explained that she felt compelled to do something in response to the water conditions and marine life kills, so she reached out to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife for advice.

“I wanted to make sure funds were used as intended,” she said.

CROW pointed out the grassroots group and Lasalle researched the non-profit.

“They’re going for not just the red tide, it’s for the overall quality of our waters,” she said. “Without blaming one person, they’re trying to come up with a solution.”

Lasalle noted that she and her brother have young families.

“It’s something that directly affects not only our business, but a safe place to go swimming, fishing,” she said. “It’s scary that my kids can’t go to the beach.”

Chris Wittman, co-founder of Captains for Clean Water, echoed that sentiment.

“This summer we have seen that Florida’s current water management is having devastating effects on Sanibel,” he said. “Together we have the ability to restore and preserve the Florida that is so special to all of us for future generations.”

“We are pleased to have the support of The Clam Shack and the community of Sanibel behind our efforts to fix Florida’s water quality and management issues,” Wittman added.

This is the first fundraiser Lasalle and her brother have hosted at The Clam Shack since taking over ownership from their parents. In October, they will celebrate two years as the restaurant’s owners.

“It’s definitely a big deal,” she said of water quality. “People need to come together.”

Bernie Hyland, their father and a musician, is setting up the entertainment.

“We have multiple musicians who have volunteered their time to come out and play,” Lasalle said.

For the Chinese auction, attendees can purchase raffle tickets on site – for example, an arm’s length of them – and then place their tickets in the bowls for the items that they would like to try and win.

“That way people don’t have to stick around all day,” she said.

“You don’t have to be present to win,” Lasalle added.

As for the items available, there is something for everyone.

“We have a $150 gift certificate to Bass Pro Shops, the Thistle Lodge donated a gift certificate and bottles of wine,” she said. “On Island donated a beach picnic basket with a cooler and glasses.”

There is a gift basket from She Sells Sea Shells and gift certificates to the Great White Grill, Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory and others, plus a local author’s book, plants from an orchid farm and more.

“We have a ton of local donations,” she said. “It’s kind of a wide variety of stuff.”

For the fundraiser, The Clam Shack will offer food and drink specials.

“We’re going to have a smaller menu, so it’s kind of like an appetizer tasting or tapas type of menu,” Lasalle said.

She explained that the event is not intended to be political by any means, just a way to bring the community together in support of conserving and preserving the local waters and wildlife.

“Everybody cares for the waterways,” Lasalle said. “We’re just trying to get everybody together to have a good time, raise awareness and raise money in support of that.”

For more information, email theclamshack16@yahoo.com or visit “The Clam Shack” on Facebook.

Captains for Clean Water advocates for the elimination of harmful large-scale Lake Okeechobee discharges into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie River estuaries by restoring the natural flow of Lake Okeechobee water south into the Everglades and Florida Bay, the organization’s website reports.

For more information, visit online at captainsforcleanwater.org.

The Clam Shack is at 2407 Periwinkle Way, Suite 5.