EDITOR'S NOTE: The Santiva Chronicle publishes opinions and letters on topics that are important to Sanibel and Captiva. They may be submitted via e-mail at news@santivachronicle.com.

To The Editor,

The 81st Annual Sanibel Shell Festival co-hosted by the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club and the Sanibel Community Association was a great success, and the two organizations wish to express their appreciation to everyone who supported and attended the event.

The following generously provided donations to the Sanibel Community Association Raffle: Sailor’s Valentine designed and created in the traditional style by artist Constance Marshall Miller; Sanibel-Captiva Beach Resorts - one week vacation; Shell Box covered with shells from around the world designed by award winning artist Susan Lloyd; Solid Brass Desk Clock by Chelsea Clocks from its Embassy collection donated by Lily & Company Jewelry Gallery; Large Specimen Shell donated by Larry Strange of Sanibel Seashell Industries in a lucite case donated by Ann Arnoff, Charles Lister and Bill Schecker; Shelligram calligraphy with Sanibel Shells designed by Sanibel artists David and Jo Stark.

The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club would like to extend a special thank you to our Scientific judges, John Slapcinsky and Gary Schmelz, PhD, and our Artistic Judges, Phyllis Gray and Shannon Webster; to Dorrie Hipschman and her staff for the use of the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum for our Judges’ Awards Reception and for giving free admission to everyone who gave the $5 donation to enter the Shell Show; and to nature photographer Melanie Moraga for allowing us to use her photography without charge for the Shell Show awards and the Shell Show booklet.

The Club would like to thank the following businesses for making major financial contributions to the Sanibel Shell Show. There are two “Angel Wing” sponsors, the Island Inn and The Fields Family; The “Heart Cockle” level sponsors include: The Island Sun, Three Crafty Ladies, Bailey’s, Karl Kotasek, and She Sells Sea Shells. Congress Jewelers presents a special pin that is awarded to the winner of the Shell Show’s Anne Joffe Sanibel Superstar Award. We thank them for their support.

Besides these major sponsors, the following businesses and individuals sponsored the trophies and the awards that were given to the winners of the Scientific Division and Artistic Division competitions of the Shell Show.
These “King’s Crown” level sponsors include the Sanibel Community Association and the Shell Crafters, the Weinstein family, Bonnie Ford, Shalimar Cottages & Motel, the Edinburg family, the McGowan family, the Lesinski family, the Clifford family, Goz Gosselin, Sanibel Seashell Industries, Bank of the Islands, West Wind Inn, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, the Neujahr family, Congress Jewelers, Jerry’s Foods, Delaware Museum of Natural History, Conchologists of America, The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Joyce Matthys, Norm Zeigler’s Fly Shop, the Sexauer family, Gene Everson, Eugene C. Spencer, Casa Ybel Resort, Mary Burton, Matzaluna and The Timbers Restaurant, and Doug and Kathy Kapp.

In addition to the many items provided by our members, The Shell Club also thanks Publix, Jerry’s Foods, Costco, Great White Grill, The Sanibel Deli and Coffee Factory, Subway, Bank of The Islands, and Jim and Sharon Ellen. Those who worked the whole day at the Shell Showgreatly appreciated your donations.

The Shell Club thanks its members and those who prepared the “thank-you bags” given at the Shell Show entrance. We thank the authors who participated in book signings at the Authors’ Table. And a big thank you to all the volunteers who gave so tirelessly of their time and efforts, and the exhibitors whose incredible scientific or artistic exhibits continue to make the Sanibel Shell Show the largest and most prestigious show in the country.

Thank you to the Island Sun, The Islander/Island Reporter, and the Santiva Chronicle newspapers for providing great coverage with stories and photos before and during the Festival. The Island Sun’s show booklet was beautifully done and mailed to all the households on the island. A special thank you to the following local TV stations that provided live coverage of our event: WINK TV, Fox4, and NBC2.

A special thank you goes to the Sanibel Community Association Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall and her staff for the many tasks they performed for the Shell Club and Shell Crafters throughout the Shell Festival.

A huge thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who tirelessly worked to make the Shell Festival such a great success: the Sanibel Community Association Shell Crafters who create the lovely artistic and whimsical items with shells throughout the year; the “Shelling Bees” who sort and prepare the shells to sell at the Shell Tent; the Kiwanis, Lions, and Rotary members who daily help with parking.

Thank you to the City of Sanibel and the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce for their assistance and support. Appreciation is directed to the island businesses that promoted the Festival. And most importantly, a huge Thank You is extended to the community of Sanibel-Captiva for helping to make the 81st Annual Shell Festival a success, and to you, the attendees for your interest and patronage.

Planning is already under way for next year’s Festival. The dates are March 7, 8 and 9, 2019 at The Community House. Plan to come and again be amazed!

Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club

Sanibel Community Association