Auction to benefit Turtle Watch

Auction to benefit Turtle Watch
From left, Brian Mathae, owner of Hurricane Hank’s, Suzi Fox, director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, and Sharon Hoatland, of A Paradise Realty and Vacation Rentals, display some of the items that will be auctioned on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 4-6 p.m. at Hurricane Hanks. - Cindy Lane | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – Enjoy live music, live and silent auctions and good food at the Second Annual Turtle Watch Wednesday on Sept. 25 from 4-6 p.m. at Hurricane Hanks, 5346 Gulf Drive.

A Paradise Realty and Vacation Rentals are teaming up with Hurricane Hanks again to raise funds for the not-for-profit Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring organization, which documents sea turtle and shorebird nesting and hatching on the Island.

If You Go

Who: Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring

What: Turtle Watch Wednesday

When: Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 4-6 p.m.

Where: Hurricane Hanks, 5346 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach

Why: Bid on cool gifts while helping raise funds for Turtle Watch

The first 75 guests will receive a free drink ticket, and Hurricane Hanks will offer 50 percent discounts on appetizers, donating $1 for every food and drink item sold during the event.

Live auction to benefit Turtle Watch
This Robert Wyland photograph on canvas will be among the items auctioned to benefit Turtle Watch on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 4-6 p.m. at Hurricane Hanks.

Mike Sales will provide live music during the event, which features a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and special T-shirts available for a $20 donation.

The silent auction will feature items from more than 50 local businesses and will include jewelry, clothing, dolphin tours, gift cards to restaurants, home furnishings and much more.

The live auction will include a Robert Wyland giclee on canvas of a sea turtle in Hawaii worth more than $1,000. The numbered and signed print is #44 in a series of 750.

The print was donated by a North Carolina resident who has visited Anna Maria Island several times and follows Turtle Watch and Island activities on Facebook.

“I sit in North Carolina and covet AMI!” said Jeannie Sowers, who will be attending the fundraiser as part of a birthday/anniversary trip to the Island.

Last year’s inaugural Turtle Watch Wednesday event drew 300 people and raised about $3,000. This year’s funds will be used for turtle-friendly lighting and community education about the importance of following turtle lighting laws to keep nesting mothers and hatching turtles from becoming disoriented.

Turtle Watch has documented more than 50 disorientations of turtle mothers and hatchlings so far this season, Fox said. More than 90 turtle nests are still on the beach waiting to hatch between now and the end of the season on Oct. 31.

“We have lights that will keep both turtles and people safe,” she said, adding that the funds raised at the event will help purchase more.

One educational aide in the works is a placemat for kids to color while families enjoy local restaurants. Anna Maria Island Sun cartoonist Steven Borggren is working on the design, which will include Mr. and Mrs. Foster Dribbles and their cat, Tobert, from his cartoon, Beach Nutz, published weekly in The Sun.

The Sun and J & J Graphics are co-sponsors of Turtle Watch Wednesday.

To donate silent auction items or for more information, please call Sharon Hoatland at 941-737-3642.

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