Southern Comfort on Sanibel to support CROW’s mission
Tickets are on sale for the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife’s end-of-season fundraiser.
Southern Comfort on Sanibel will be held on April 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Community House on Sanibel. Its sixth year, it will feature dinner, games with prizes, a live auction, raffles and more.
CROW volunteer Diane Neitzel, event co-chair with volunteer Gina Cunningham, explained that funding can dwindle in the summer due to the off-season and less visitors coming through the doors. So, they came up with the fundraiser as a way to close out the season and provide an extra boost.
“The board thought this would be a good way to increase our income, to allow us to survive more comfortably over the summer,” she said. “Animal rehabbing is a very expensive undertaking.”
Neitzel noted that the event has grown exponentially each year.
“It’s just a low-key fun event,” she said. “It started out that way and it still is.”
The Community House Resident Chef Jarred Harris is planning a buffet-style dinner.
“I think the Southern Comfort follows through with the food,” Executive Director Alison Charney Hussey said. “Chef Jarred’s creatively and mastery and skill is going to be found in every bite.”
There will be plenty of things to do, so a buffet serving is the perfect fit.
“We’ll have a handful of games for people to participate in,” Development Director Mary Schoeffel said. “One of the fabulous fun opportunities is the wine bottle ring toss. If you ring a bottle of wine, you get to walk away with it.”
Cunningham noted that there will be games of skill and chance.
“We’ve got a bevy of new games this year,” she said.
CROW’s Animal Ambassadors will be present for up-close wildlife experiences.
“There will be several of them,” Schoeffel said, adding that there will be photo opportunities.
The live auction will feature a range of items, including a one-week stay in the Florida Keys, scenic tour of the islands from a “bird’s eye view,” fly fishing excursion from Whitney’s Bait & Tackle, some delectable dinners such as one with one of the CROW hospital’s doctors, jewelry, artwork and more.
“We have something that will entice every bidder at every price point,” Hussey said.
There will also be raffles, with the chance to win great prizes.
“The explosive balloon pop,” Cunningham said of one of the games. “As an attendee last year, the balloon pop raffle was truly exciting. It really was a highlight of the evening.”
CROW Drs. Heather Barron and Robin Bast will be in attendance.
“It gives them (attendees) an opportunity to talk to them and learn things about the hospital,” Cunningham said. “These are the people who actually work with the animals. It’s a one-on-one with the people who work with these patients all of the time.”
Event tickets are $75 through March 3. Afterward, they will increase to $95.
Sponsorships are still available.
“It’s a great opportunity for the local businesses to show their continued support of CROW and also have a good time as we end out this season,” Hussey said.
“That community partnership is really important to us,” Schoeffel added.
The public is encouraged to reserve their tickets quickly as last year’s event sold out.
“They’re not going to want to miss this year’s event – we put the ‘fun’ in fundraising,” Hussey said. “It’s too much fun, and it supports CROW and it takes care of the animals.”
“One of the best parts of Southwest Florida is the wildlife,” she added. “We make sure they have a second chance.”
For more information or tickets, visit www.crowclinic.org/articles/fundraising-events. People can also buy them by calling 239-472-3644 or stopping by CROW, at 3883 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel.
For sponsorships, contact Schoeffel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-472-3644 ext. 232.
The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.