CHR Launches Manatee Madness Fundraiser

provided to Santiva Chronicle

Community Housing & Resources has launched Manatee Madness, a unique fundraiser for these unique times. Beginning in early December, more than a dozen specially designed manatees — each painted or otherwise enhanced by a local artist — will appear in select locations around Sanibel and Captiva islands in order to benefit CHR’s mission to provide affordable housing for individuals working and living on the islands.

The Manatees will be on display around the island through the end of March, and, at that time, they will be auctioned off to the highest bidders. Individuals and businesses that sponsor a Manatee will be able to choose where to display the Manatee, subject, of course, to certain city limitations. A map with the sponsored locations will be available for all residents and visitors to the islands to embark on a self-guided, self-paced tour of the Manatees with fun photo opportunities.

“We are thrilled,” said Melissa Rice, Executive Director of CHR, “that so many of our renowned and talented local artists are donating their creativity, time and energy to this project. I’ve heard a few of the ideas so far, and, while I can’t reveal anything before the Manatees go on display, I can say that Sanibel is going to be graced by some extraordinary works of art.”

Participating artists include Jim and Patty Sprankle, Marianne Ravenna, Cesar Aguilera, Danielle Branschaud, Cath Branwood, Anita Force-Marshall and Bob Marshall, Kristina Jackson, Cheryl Logan, Taryn Manning, Rena Martinson, Kym Mason, Lacy McClary, Margarethe Miville, Joan Tangren-Reynolds, Brian Weaver and Peter Zell.

Steve Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CHR, applauded the initial sponsors. “Once again, I am moved by the way our community steps up to support CHR and the mission of providing affordable housing on our beautiful sanctuary island.”

“Sponsorship opportunities are available at many levels,” added Rice. “If you are interested in supporting Sanibel’s affordable housing program while having a little fun (in compliance with CDC guidelines of course), please consider sponsoring Manatee Madness. We’ve adapted to the times and promise that It will be entertaining, social, artistic and safe for all!”

Community Housing & Resources, non-profit organization with the mission to provide affordable housing for families and individuals who work and who serve the community of Sanibel. For more information on CHR and Manatee Madness, contact Melissa Rice at

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