provided to The Santiva Chronicle
The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company is proud to announce it will again be the Presenting Sponsor of the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum’s annual benefit gala, featuring comedian and actor Kevin Nealon for the second year in a row. Proceeds from this year’s event will support the recovery and rebuilding of the Shell Museum following the impacts of Hurricane Ian.
The fundraising gala event, titled Still Standing, will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, April 24 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Fort Myers. Guests will enjoy dinner, drinks, an exciting live auction, and an unforgettable performance by Nealon.
“It’s an honor for our firm to partner with the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum for almost two decades,” said Al Hanser, Founder and Chairman of the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. “It’s a special place, and we are honored to help the museum restore its facility after Hurricane Ian so it may once again provide a unique educational experience to its visitors.”
The museum was severely impacted by the storm. The ground floor which houses the Living Gallery of aquariums and marine life flooded with over five feet of water causing extensive damage throughout. The storm also tore a hole in the museum’s brand-new roof, exposing the second and third floors – which include The Great Hall of Shells and storage for the shell collection – to water damage and the elements. The museum’s priorities for rebuilding are to reconstruct the exhibits and aquariums as quickly as possible and to safeguard its irreplaceable scientific collection of over 550,000 specimens amassed over the last 40 years.
“Sanibel and all of our coastal communities are working hard to rebuild, and the Shell Museum will do the same,” said Jeff Muddell, Sanibel Captiva Trust Company’s Sanibel Market President. “We can’t wait to see thousands of visitors return to see its exhibits and aquariums once the Museum has been restored, and we are grateful that Kevin Nealon is offering his talents to help that effort.”
As one of the longest running cast members on NBC’s Saturday Night Live (1986-1995), Nealon created some of the show’s most memorable characters; his recurring role as an anchor on ‘Weekend Update’ helped make the sketch a show staple. In 1988, he earned an Emmy nomination as part of the SNL writing team.
“The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company continues to be an incredibly important supporter of the museum,” said Sam Ankerson, National Shell Museum Executive Director. “Their invaluable support and the proceeds of Still Standing will also enable the museum to continue its educational outreach throughout Southwest Florida while the facility is restored.”
Visit ShellMuseum.org/gala to learn more and purchase tickets for the Still Standing gala.