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Taste of the Islands gets new format amid pandemic

By CROW - | Sep 29, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Bank of the Islands’ David Lowden and Willy Ocasio with CROW Executive Director Alison Charney Hussey.

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife welcomes Bank of the Islands/Edison National Bank as the returning presenting sponsor for the 39th Taste of the Islands. It marks the banks’ 11th year as the presenting sponsor of the signature event as new changes come about due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are extremely appreciative of Bank of the Islands/Edison National Bank’s faithful support of CROW and our work saving local wildlife,” CROW Executive Director Alison Charney Hussey said. “They have been amazing working with us as we pivot through these new changes.”

Taste of the Islands is typically held on a Sunday in November with a dozen or so restaurants offering their tastes for the patrons in a festival-style setting. This year, however, the event will move into the restaurants and last throughout the month of November.

“Taste of the Islands needed to be ‘reimagined’ this year. We couldn’t have it in the park, so we needed to be creative,” Hussey said. “Everyone has had a pretty rough year, so we are excited to be able to encourage diners to come to the islands, to visit the restaurants themselves, all while helping to raise money for wildlife and keeping our community healthy.”

Each participating restaurant will offer their “Taste” items to showcase their cuisine throughout November. A portion of the proceeds from the designated food and beverage sold will be donated to CROW. Additionally, every Sunday a different “CROW Crawl” will feature different restaurants for patrons to visit. The CROW tent, along with Animal Ambassadors, will be in front of one of the restaurants with Taste of the Islands sponsors featured outside other restaurants in the region.

In lieu of admission to the event, participants can purchase a “Taste Passport” with a listing and map of the participating restaurants. Each restaurant will stamp or punch the passport so patrons can track their progress. Only passport holders will be eligible to vote for their favorite restaurant to win the coveted “People’s Choice Award” and be entered into a drawing for prizes, including vacation stays and gift certificates. Passports will be available for purchase at CROW and participating restaurants, or online for pick up at “will calls” both on and off Sanibel.

Proceeds from Taste of the Islands ensure CROW’s continued success providing the highest quality care and treatment of injured, ill and orphaned wildlife through state-of-the-art veterinary care. Funds also support public educational exhibits at the Visitor Education Center.

For more information, sponsorships or to become a participating restaurant, contact CROW Development Director Mary C. Schoeffel at 239-472-3644 Ext. 232 or mschoeffel@crowclinic.org

CROW would also like to welcome and thank lead media sponsor FOX 4; executive chef sponsors The Silverman Organization and Dave and Jenn Nichols; sous chef sponsors Jensen’s Marina and Cottages, The Inns of Sanibel, Rapid Response Team of Fort Myers and Royal Shell; and supporting media sponsors Happenings Magazine, Island Reporter/Sanibel-Captiva Islander, The Island Sun and River Weekly Newspaper, and Santiva Chronicle.