Sanibel School Thankful For Harrity, Doc Fords

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Marty Harrity stands outside Doc Ford’s Sanibel with members of the Sanibel School Fund (l-r), Dana Foster, Jeff Muddell, Babs Maughan, and Kim Kouril

As students break for Thanksgiving and prepare for the holiday season, there is much to be thankful for on the campus of The Sanibel School.

The school has been in session since August, now with well over three-quarters of enrolled students attending classes in person. Students have adjusted well to safety protocols, and teachers and administrators have modified their teaching to the “new normal” of the pandemic.

But, best of all, the community continues to rally to support the school through gifts to the Sanibel School Fund and the Parent Teacher Association.That generosity will soon bring a new pottery kiln to the school’s art department.

Longtime supporters Marty and Brenda Harrity and their restaurant Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille believe in keeping our community’s National Blue Ribbon School strong. They are annual supporters of the Sanibel School Fund’s Blue Ribbon Golf Classic and proud donors to the Fund’s 2020 annual campaign, and sponsors of many PTA events.

“Marty is truly interested in seeing our school succeed,” says Jeff Muddell, president of the Sanibel School Fund. “He keeps an ear to developments, wants to know what’s going on. And whenever The Sanibel School is in need of something above-and-beyond what its budget allows, there’s Marty, asking how he can help.”

When Harrity learned this summer that the school’s kiln was broken and needed to be replaced, he immediately called to see what could be done. In a few weeks, thanks to the Harritys and Doc Ford’s, a new kiln will arrive.

“They are an amazing family, and they run a very generous business,” says Muddell. “Marty was on city council when the middle school was dreamed up, constructed, and opened. He knows the value of keeping our school strong and bringing new families to the island. We are all so thankful for him and Brenda and their business.”

The Sanibel School is an A-rated public K-8 school, part of the School District of Lee County. As such, it largely works with a public school budget.

But the school has been blessed through the years to receive support from the community, providing opportunities for students above-and-beyond what is provided by the School District. That support is used to fund educational programs like the new track for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), leadership programs, teacher appreciation initiatives, and additional supplies and equipment.

To find out how to support The Sanibel School, reach out to the Sanibel School Fund at, or the Sanibel School PTA at

Leave a Comment

We are interested in articulate, well-informed remarks that are relevant to the article. We welcome your advice, your criticism and your unique insights into the issues of the day. To be approved for publication, your comments should be civil and avoid name-calling. It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear, if it is approved.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.