BIG ARTS Gets Holiday Gift From Its Executive Director

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Bank V.P. Willy Ocasio, left, Big Arts Exec. Dir. Lee Ellen Harder, and Bank V.P. – Private Client Relations David Lowden.

BIG ARTS received an unexpected holiday gift courtesy of its Executive Director Lee Ellen Harder and The Bank of the Islands. Harder’s license plate was the winning plate selected as part of the bank’s “We Love Our Islands” program. The program invites island residents to place the “We Love Our Islands” decal on their car. Each week a vehicle is randomly selected, and the winner gets to choose a nonprofit to receive a donation from the bank. Naturally, Harder chose BIG ARTS to receive the $1,100 donation.

“I have always admired the Bank of the Islands for its commitment to nonprofits on the island,” said Harder. “The bank’s generosity is really heartwarming, and I was thrilled to be able to pass it along to BIG ARTS. It was the perfect way to share the holiday spirit with our community.”

BIG ARTS House Manager Wendy Harriman was the first to learn a license plate that belonged to someone at BIG ARTS was selected as the winner. She sent out an all-staff email, but no one stepped forward as the owner of the winning license plate. After some sleuthing, it was discovered that the plate belonged to Harder, and she was informed that she was the winner.

“I was thrilled and overjoyed.,” she exclaimed when she heard the news. “It is my third time winning in the 32 years I have lived on Sanibel. It was wonderful to be able to share this holiday gift with the organization and people who mean so much to me.”

To learn more about BIG ARTS 2021 season or to make a holiday donation, visit or call the box office at 239-395-0900.

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