BIG ARTS BIG SECRET fundraiser was held on January 24th on Sanibel and this year consisted of a totally unique form of art sale. The big secret was that none of the guests would know who had created each of the 8 X 10 artworks until the end of the evening.
There was also a live performance by the incredible artist Jonas Gerard, who created a fabulous work of art as viewers watched. This colorful masterpiece later was auctioned off for the sum of $5000. Jonas also donated several other pieces of art, as did the other Island favorites, Ikki and Polly Matsumoto, and Myra Roberts.
This year’s fundraiser was a wonderful success and enjoyed by all. Definitely a “must attend” for next year! To learn more about BIG ARTS campus, their history, class schedules, and upcoming events, got to BIGARTS.org.
CROW, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc., located on Sanibel Island, just celebrated the Grand Opening of their new Visitors Education Center on the 25th of January. The Center will delight all visitors with the many activities and displays they have to offer, including the spectacular, hands-on interactive wildlife displays. You will also see the many faces and learn the stories behind the patients, play “Be the Vet”, visit the new CROW gift shop, and learn how you can help the wildlife of Southwest Florida. You can visit their website for more information by c licking here.
The Calooshatchee Regional Park is a 750 acre perserve located on the shores of the Calooshatchee River in Alva. It provides more than 10 miles of trails for both hikers and mountain bikes. An excellant way to spend an active day.
“Purchased by the State of Florida in the 1960’s, Lee County entered into a lease on the site in 1989, with a management agreement to provide public recreational opportunities.
Located along the Caloosahatchee River, it is an area rich in natural history. Calusa Indians are believed to be the first settlers here. Followed by Seminole and early settlers of what is now known as Alva.
Early studies have also found two archaeological sites within the park.
The efforts of several community members from the Caloosa Saddle Club in 1985, were instrumental in convincing Lee County Commissioners to proceed with plans to develop a park. Along with other groups such as the Florida Mud Cutters Mountain Bike Club, volunteers were instrumental in the development of the trail system on the park’s 400 acre Northside.
Caloosahatchee Regional Park opened on March 6, 1999 and to this day, volunteers are instrumental in trail maintenance and campground management.”
Take a look at owners Sam Bumgarner, Andy and Bill Kinsman and Andy, manager of Ocean’s Reach, as they prepare to kayak on and around Sanibel Island. For those who are unaware, in addition to the Gulf of Mexico, there are miles and miles of blue water trails to explore in the bay and bayous of Sanibel Island. The following pictures are in Dinkins Bayou and Clam Bayou. This was a weather perfect day, clear as a bell–not a cloud in the sky– and temperatures in the low 70’s!
The group left Ocean’s Reach at 3 p.m. by car,and arrived at Clam Bayou behind Auntie Agnes’ house by 3:30 p.m. and kayaked with their two Ocean’s Reach kayaks for over two hours. This is an incredible way to explore Sanibel and see areas unaccessible by car, foot or bike. It allows you to see some beautiful real estate property and natural habitats like you can’t imagine. It was amazingly quiet and peaceful as the kayakers paddled without noise, whimper or splashing. The only splashing was mullets jumping in and out of the water. What an amazing sight to see so close up. Osprey dove in and out of the water right in front of them also, while catching their dinner. After, they would soar back up in the air with a fish in their mouth big enough for dinner for two!
The outing was thoroughly enjoyed by the group, although Andy was a little sore following his upper body workout. But remember, Andy,this is so much better than being in an enclosed gymnasium pushing weights!