Sanibel School Fund Breaks Records at Annual Event

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

The Sanibel and Captiva communities united in support of The Sanibel School in mid-May, making this year’s Blue Ribbon Golf Classic the most successful fundraiser for the school in history.

The Sanibel School Fund announced the event raised more than $135,000 to support the school’s STEM program – a unique science, technology, engineering and mathematics-focused specialty at the school which next year will be available for all its K-8 students. In addition, the community contributed to several science-themed field trips planned for students next year, including overnight adventures to Kennedy Space Center.

More than 90 golfers took part in the afternoon golf scramble at The Sanctuary Golf Club on May 14th, before joining nearly 200 guests at Sanibel Community House for a community celebration and fundraiser that night.

“We continue to turn attention of our generous neighbors to the needs at The Sanibel School, and we are so grateful for the outpouring of support,” said Jeff Muddell, Sanibel School Fund President. “We are a public school, yes. But this private support helps our school grow stronger for its growing number of students.”

On the golf course, the team sponsored by Aaron Pruss, consisting of Aaron, Travis Hopson, Jason Smith, and Kevin Breece, took home the trophy in the A Flight. In the B Flight, the team from Doc Ford’s, made up of Justin Harris, Chris Ruhl, Ryan Berecz, and Mark Willis, took top prize.

The islands community wrapped its arms around two raffles offered by the School Fund, which raised more than $40,000 with the drawings held at the post-round celebration. A brand-new Moke electric vehicle will soon be in the driveway of raffle winner Ann Sheehy.

Meantime, Scott Kellett won the custom “Miss Betty’s Sea School” painting by famed artist Myra Roberts. Then, in a gracious gesture, Scott gifted the painting to one of The Sanibel School’s teachers, Dr. Michelle Heuck.

The event was made possible by many generous sponsors, beginning with The Sanibel School parents Michael and Gretchen Betten, the title sponsors of the event this year. They also served as sponsors of the Moke raffle.

The Sanctuary Golf Club has graciously played host to the Blue Ribbon Golf Classic every year since 2007. The club’s foundation was also one of the event’s premier sponsors, along with Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, Ashton Kirschner Group / Keller Williams Realty, The Doss Family Fund, David and Mika Filkins, and YOLO Watersports of Captiva Island. Yolo’s contributions also served to sponsor the Moke raffle.

Grand sponsors include Sanibel Captiva Trust Company, Bank of the Islands, Dream Vacation Rentals, the Johnson Family of Bailey’s, the Stevens Family and June Bailey, and an anonymous school family.

Ashton Kirschner Group / Keller Williams Realty served as dinner sponsor, and McCallion & McCallion and a group of Families of Gumbo Limbo sponsored the night’s entertainment.

The event also featured several live auction items, generously donated by Joey’s Custard, Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa & Boutique, Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, and Lazy Flamingo.

The Blue Ribbon Golf Classic will return next year, with the date set for May 13, 2023.

Gifts to The Sanibel School are always encouraged. If you are interested in joining the event or making a gift, contact or Jeff Muddell at 321-217-3946.

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