Celebrate Christmas at Ocean’s Reach


With a Dickens Christmas Carol Outdoor Concert

Tis the season to celebrate with song and carols admidst swaying palms, an ocean breeze and the canopy of a brilliant twinkling sky. Ocean’s Reach is proud to present an evening of Charles Dickens carols and holiday song with a trio of outstanding vocal talent. Hailing from the Broadway stage, national opera companies and touring theatrical ensembles, James Dalfonso, Deborah Jenkins and Mark Malachesky will don their Dickens attire to amuse, entertain and delight our Ocean’s Reach holiday guests, friends and neighbors.

Following the Ocean’s Reach twilight ritual of viewing the sun setting from the sandy beach, guests will return indoors to grab a sweater or two before embarking through their front door to the Grove. With a cool breeze swirling, our guests will find their way to the tropical garden where palms and native ferns are decoratively lit for the special occasion. Nestled in the Grove is a cozy paved patio area with chairs, benches and tables for eating, congregating and for the champagne toast to the families who are able to be together during the Christmas week. This will be the setting for the Dickens Carol performance. I can only imagine three booming voices making their way through the crowd as they create their own stage for a magical performance.

After spending numerous Christmases at Ocean’s Reach, I am extremely grateful for the gift from these talented musicians that will create a wonderful family memory for their fellow guests. On many an occasion I have been unsuccessful in soliciting my fellow family members to wander the corridors on a Christmas Eve to sing Christmas carols to all the guests. Was I thrilled to receive a phone call from this generous and willing family asking if Ocean’s Reach would be interested in offering a musical program. In a heartbeat I said yes.

So on this concert eve, the food is ready for preparation, the champagne ready for uncorking and the setup is waiting for helping hands. I hope our guests will enjoy this premier performance and be inspired by the glorious presentation of both sacred carols and holiday sing along songs.
I know that many families have been touched by their experiences at Ocean’s Reach so I was not surprised to hear parts of Debby’s (Jenkins) story about Ocean’s Reach and why she wanted to offer her talents to others staying at Ocean’s Reach…

My family, specifically my grandparents, began coming to Sanibel in the 1970’s, as a result of my grandmother’s obsession with shelling. They always stayed at Ocean’s Reach. They began bringing my mother and me soon after. With my grandmother’s tutelage, I became an excellent sheller, especially since I was so much closer to the ground than she was. Over the years, I was responsible for all of the smallest shells she needed for her Sailor’s Valentines, horse conch growth series, windle trap works of art, and countless others. After my grandparents passed away, my mom and I came to Ocean’s Reach because it is our favorite place on earth.  Once Jim (Dalfonso) and I were married, we began coming again with my mom every spring break. Soon, Mark (Malachesky) started joining us, and now we try to come at least twice a year. We’ve brought friends and relatives and everyone is always entranced by the magic of Sanibel and Ocean’s Reach. During some of the very worst moments and the hardest times, I have been able to picture myself walking down the ramp onto the beach and hearing that ubiquitous sound of the waves pushing through the shells onto the beach.

Debby, Jim and Mark…We thank you for sharing your love of music and your love of Sanibel and Ocean’s Reach with our all guests– bringing each of them together for one special evening from distant places all over the world.

Dru Anne Doyle