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Decades Party countdown: Get your tickets

By Staff | Mar 7, 2019

Dust off your bellbottoms and your best platform shoes.

Wicked Dolphin Distillery is transforming its parking lot into a 1970s-themed party and the proceeds will benefit the Cape Coral Animal Shelter, which is expected to open its doors this fall.

JoAnn Elardo said ticket sales for Saturday’s 7 to 11 p.m. event are strong.

The president of the shelter board attributes the robust sales to this year’s auction items and increased awareness about the no-kill facility.

“This year we have the best auction items we’ve ever had,” she said.

“We have a lot in our auctions. Everyone is going to walk away a winner.”

As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, Elardo says she had sold 200 tickets.

Last month Elardo said she expected 250 to 300 attendees, so the shelter is on track to meet its goal.

Elardo also said she’d like to raise 20 percent more than the $40,000 the 1960s Decade Party netted last year.

“I think we will meet the target,” she said. “I do because we have received a lot of support from sponsors.”

This is the fifth year the shelter has thrown a decades-themed fundraiser party and it’s the shelter’s largest signature event of the year.

Past themes included the Roaring Twenties prohibition, 1940’s war effort and Hollywood glamour, 1950’s America. Last year represented the groovy ’60s.

This year’s party will be presented by Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company, P.A.

Boston Red Sox announcer, Ted Fitzgeorge and ABC-7 News Anchor, Krista Fogelsong will emcee the event.

The $100 ticket includes dinner and an open bar. Look forward to fun costumes, cocktails, food, music, dancing, contests and the silent auction.

Elardo says the silent auction has everything from trips to a liquor chest with an igloo cooler. There also will be golf packages to The Chubb Classic, baskets full of spa dates, plane tickets from JetBlue, and baskets for animals

Elardo said her favorite item is a boat ride with a captain for a party of six.

“That sounds really exciting,” she said.

There also will be the annual champagne diamond drop, sponsored by John Michaels Diamond & Jewelry. The winner will receive a 1 ct. diamond at the end of the evening.

Local artist Gretchen KISH Serrano will contribute 10 paintings to the event. Nine are for decoration, but can be auctioned off. She is also donating one painting herself.

“Her paintings are incredible,” Elardo said. “She has been a volunteer with the shelter. She’s pretty famous in her own right.”

Serrano’s artwork is reminiscent of Vincent Van Gough, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and other master painters. Her works always include animals. Elardo used a “Starry Night” painting with a corgi as an example.

On Saturday, guests will see eight works inspired by Andy Warhol, one by Roy Lichtenstein and another inspired by Jackson Pollock.

Wicked Dolphin Distillery’s parking lot will be tented off for the party. Think Studio 54.

“When you enter into the tent, we have these phenomenal black and gold feather chandeliers, hundreds of lanterns on the ceiling and large disco balls,” Elardo said. The dance floor is black and white.”

Food for the evening will be provided by Gather Restaurant, Big Blue Brewing, Nevermind Awesome Bar, Paradise Deli & Grill, Lobster Laby, Ceno Grille, and Personal Touch Catering.

The catering company will bring prime rib sliced by a chef on site. Big Blue Brewing will bring crab-filled stuffed mushroom caps and chicken marsala. A shrimp cocktail tower will come from Lobster Lady. And guests can look forward to a beef Wellington from Gather Restaurant.

“The food is going to be real phenomenal,” Elardo said.

Elardo has invited all of the movers and shakers of Cape Coral.

She said Major Joe Coviello and some members of City Council will attend. She’s also extended an invitation to Congressman Francis Rooney.

But Elardo says it’s not only about who’s attending. It’s about coming together to support a great cause. A lot of Cape Coral business owners who support the shelter and can’t wait to see it open will be there.

“It’s time to get their ’70s on and dance the night away.”