provided to The Santiva Chronicle
To support the recovery efforts and conservation outreach of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island since Hurricane Ian destroyed much of its habitat and infrastructure, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS), in partnership with Bell Tower and Two Lane Lager, presents Sounds of the Sand, Saturday, March 25.
The event will take place from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Bell Tower shopping plaza in Fort Myers, featuring popular Sanibel musician Danny Morgan and other local bands and entertainers. Sounds of the Sand is open to the public free of charge.
The three-pronged partnership grew from a past relationship between Bell Tower and Two Lane Lager hosting fundraisers to support the community. Last year, DDWS developed a strong connection with Two Lane as a supporter of its annual “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament, and both parties wanted to keep that relationship going.
“It all came full circle when DDWS and Two Lane brought Bell Tower into the equation to help with a special, unique event to benefit the refuge,” said Birgie Miller, DDWS executive director. “We wanted to get musicians who have played at local island bars and resorts to help them with their own recovery. We also hope this reminds people the island is resilient, and music continues to help us heal and get back to our happy places.”
“Ding” Darling will set up stations with nature games for families and information about the refuge and its recovery and how to donate to DDWS to support refuge conservation work, including post-hurricane habitat restoration, wildlife protection, and environmental education.
Suncoast Beverage Sales, distributor of Two Lane American Golden Lager Beer brand, will sell beer, profits going directly to DDWS.
Other Bell Tower merchants, including several displaced from their Sanibel locations, will be participating out on the plaza. Activities will also include face-painting, axe throwing, a bounce house, lawn games, and cotton candy. Musicians will perform on the main stage and at stations at either end of the shopping plaza.
“As an icon in the community, Bell Tower is committed to supporting the ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge and its mission of conservation and wildlife protection,” says Shannon Palzer, marketing manager for the shopping center. “Never before has this mission been more important than in the wake of Hurricane Ian, which has destroyed so much of the area’s natural habitat. At Bell Tower, we have helped seven displaced area retailers get back on their feet, and we stand ready to help this worthy organization raise the funds it needs to recover and reopen. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Sounds of the Sand event in March as we work together to keep Southwest Florida strong.”
For more information about the event or to become a sponsor, contact event organizer April Boehnen at email@example.com or visit dingdarling.org.