The Conservancy of Southwest Florida raised $1.6 million at its 16th annual Magic Under the Mangroves gala with a record attendance of 510 supporters.
Held March 5 at the Conservancy Nature Center, the theme of “It’s on! Time to Make the Magic Happen” celebrated nature at night.
“While the Conservancy of Southwest Florida has been fighting to protect our water, land, wildlife and future for 56 years, there is still much work to be done,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “It is encouraging to our mission and our team to have significant support from our community to make sure we leave our environment in the best shape we can for generations to come.”
Conservancy member and longtime supporter Carol Dinardo chaired this year’s event. “What an amazing way to shine a light on the important work of the Conservancy,” she said. “This gala allows the community to support the Conservancy’s teams to continue their incredible work to preserve the environment that brought us here.”
Magic Under the Mangroves, which has grown into one of Naples’ top annual charitable events, featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music and a seated dinner by award-winning, certified green caterer Windows Catering of Washington D.C.
Attendees also participated in a silent auction and spirited live auction that included trips to exotic destinations, elegant dinner parties, jewelry and artwork. The auction included one-of-a-kind nature experiences with Conservancy staff members, including a screech owl release, sea turtle habitat exploration, python tracking exploration in the Everglades and more.
Before dinner was served, the live fund-a-need cash call ended after raising $995,000. After dinner, attendees were asked if anyone would be willing to get the total to $1 million, and several paddles were raised, bringing the fund-a-need campaign over $1 million.
In 16 years, Magic Under the Mangroves has raised more than $13 million to fund scientific research, education programs, policy development, advocacy and wildlife rehabilitation programs that support the Conservancy’s longstanding mission of protecting the water, land, wildlife and future in Southwest Florida.
Magic Under the Mangroves was presented by Northern Trust. Supporting sponsor was William Raveis Real Estate. Media sponsors included Florida Weekly, Gulfshore Life, Naples Daily News and NBC-2.