The 19th Annual Magic Under the Mangroves gala held March 2 raised more than $1.4 million net for programs to protect the water, land, wildlife, and future of Southwest Florida.
Going back to the original theme of “Magic Under the Mangroves,” guests were reminded of the importance of mangrove forests to the ecosystems of Southwest Florida. The Conservancy’s largest annual fundraiser, Magic features an outdoor reception followed by a silent auction, dinner, and live auction held inside a multiple-tented structure.
The event included feature films that highlighted the Conservancy’s important work protecting our water, land, and wildlife by the four core departments: Environmental Education, Environmental Science, Environmental Policy and Advocacy, and Wildlife Rehabilitation. Following the videos, world-renowned auctioneer and author Lydia Fenet led a fund-a-need auction that started with two $100,000 commitments. Immediately following the fund-a-need, five exclusive auction items were offered and produced more than $250,000.
The delighted crowd enjoyed the competition for the auction items after which a sumptuous dinner was provided by The Ritz-Carlton.
“In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, it has been a difficult year for many of our supporters, but knowing of the importance of the work we do in protecting nature, they stepped up in a big way,” said Rob Moher, Conservancy president and CEO. “We all recognize that if we protect nature, nature will protect us. On behalf of our staff, volunteers, and board, I’m grateful for the outpouring of support during Magic.”
Toni and Charlie Mueller chaired the event and led a team of volunteer committee members and staff. Magic Under the Mangroves has raised more than $18 million since its inception in 2004.
Sponsors included Northern Trust as the Presenting Sponsor and William Raveis as Supporting Sponsor. Community Sponsors included Waterside Shops, Gulfshore Life magazine, Naples Daily News, and WINK News.