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Animal Shelter fundraiser exceeds goal

By Staff | Mar 28, 2019

Close to 250 people came out to the Cape Coral Animal Shelter’s largest signature event of the year.

“It was another winner,” shelter board President, JoAnn Elardo said of the March 9 1970s decades party and fundraiser.

“Another great year.”

Shelter supporters and friends donned their best ’70s attire, enjoyed a spread of delicious food and danced the night away.

Tickets were $100 and Elardo hoped to raise 20 percent more than last year’s $40,000.

She met that goal and then some.

All of the money raised from the event went into the shelter. At the end of the night, the shelter grossed more than $50,000.

Elardo says the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation contributed an additional $120,000.

This was the fifth time the Cape Coral Animal Shelter held the decades fundraiser. Next year, Southwest Floridians can look out for big hair and lots of hairspray, as next year’s party will celebrate the 1980s.

Past themes included 1920’s prohibition, the 1940’s war effort and Hollywood glamour, 1950’s America and the Groovy 1960s.

But this year, it was all about disco fever.

Elardo said everyone arrived in their best ’70s gear and came ready to dance.

Wicked Dolphin Distillery’s parking lot was tented off and turned into Studio 54. The speakers cranked Seventies tunes and some people even came in classic decade costumes.

“The Cone Heads came,” she said. “ZZ Top came. We had an Elvis and Danny from Saturday Night Fever.”

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

The catering company served prime rib sliced by a chef. Big Blue Brewing brought crab-filled stuffed mushroom caps and chicken marsala. Lobster Lady enticed the crowd with a shrimp cocktail tower, and Gather Restaurant made mouths water with Beef Wellington.

Praising the menu and the emcees, Elardo said the event exceeded her expectations.

Her favorite part was transforming Wicked Dolphin Distillery.

“Looking at this tent and then seeing what it became was pretty special.”

Elardo also loved seeing how generous the community was.

“And watching everyone laugh and dance.”

She also thinks the decades party is gaining more exposure in the community.

Since the event is outgrowing its size, Elardo might have it next year at an inside venue like the Cape Coral Yacht Club.

“When you have a good time at a party, more people want to come the next year.”

And it looks like she’s right.

If you weren’t able to attend the party, Elardo said those interested in contributing to the shelter can participate in its paver program.

For $150, your name will be engraved on a four-inch by eight-inch brick; or for $250, you can include a bit more on an eight-inch by eight-inch block.

“So, you can leave a small legacy on the animal shelter,” she said.