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SCCF cancels programming, fundraising events

By Staff | Mar 17, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reported that the Beer in the Bushes set for April 11, along with the Sanibel Sea School’s Octifest on April 4, have been canceled.

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reported that to support the health and safety of the community, all programming and events are canceled until further notice as of today, March 17.

“We take the risk associated with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) very seriously and are doing everything we can to stop the potential spread of the global pandemic,” SCCF Board of Trustees President Linda Uhler said. “We hope the community will continue to support all the critical work that SCCF does to protect our coastal ecosystems in these uncertain times.”

Beer in the Bushes on April 11 and the Sanibel Sea School’s Octifest on April 4 are canceled.

“We are sorry that we won’t be able to bring the community together at Octifest and Beer in the Bushes,” Chief Executive Officer Ryan Orgera. “And, we are grateful to donors and sponsors for their generous donations to our biggest annual fundraisers that provide a large portion of support to our mission.”

Lead sponsors of Beer in the Bushes have already decided to donate their funds.

“Our presenting sponsor, Wimmer Communities, and our band co-sponsors, Jensen’s Twin Palms Resort & Marina and The Marcums, are taking the lead in adapting to cancellation by letting us know that their sponsorships are converting to donations,” Events Manager Jeff Siwicke said. “We are thrilled by their understanding and support.”

Refunds for Octifest, Beer in the Bushes and all SCCF program tickets are available by emailing refunds@sccf.org for the next 30 days, until April 15. For those who wish to convert their ticket to a donation, no action is required; they will auto-convert and holders will receive a donation receipt.

“We hope that ticket-holders will allow us to retain their fees as tax-deductible donations to support the vital work that SCCF does, yet we understand that many in our community who are affected by current economic impacts will opt for a refund and we totally support and respect those decisions,” Uhler said.

Donated tickets will support SCCF’s work on water quality, habitat management, sea turtle and shorebird monitoring, native landscaping and environmental education.

“Nature goes on. Our work to protect and conserve continues,” Orgera said. “We are grateful to those who convert tickets to donations at this time to show their support of our work.”

The SCCF’s public closures include the Nature Center, all offices, the Sanibel Sea School and Bailey Homestead Preserve’s Native Landscapes & Garden Center, which will remain closed to the public until further notice. The SCCF will continue to monitor public health risks and will provide updates on its ongoing work, including uplifting and inspiring photos and videos of nature on social media.

“We encourage you to become engaged with us online during these times of social isolation so we can keep our community spirit alive,” Orgera said. “Stay safe. We are grateful for your continuing appreciation of our natural world in these challenging times.”

Closures do not include the over eight miles of nature trails the SCCF offers across the island.

For questions or more information, email sccf@sccf.org. Stay tuned to updates and announcements from the SCCF through its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts or visit online at sccf.org.