The rarest island fundraiser of them all is coming back this year.
Lemon Bay Conservancy's Leap Year gala fundraiser, which only comes around every four years, will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Gasparilla Inn Beach Club on Boca Grande.
Toast to the Coast festivities will include fine food and drink, a silent and live auction, music and a few surprises, said Vanessa Smith, Lemon Bay Conservancy director of development.
A tarpon juvenile from Wildflower Preserve just off Gasparilla Island.
Tarpon preservation is this year's theme.
As first reported last November by the Gasparilla Gazette, the pond system at the Conservancy's Wildflower Preserve has been found to provide an important link in tarpon growth. Protecting and improving this environment is essential to promoting the tarpon population.
Tickets to Toast to the Coast are $95 per person or groups of 10 of $850.
What: Toast to the Coast, Lemon Bay Conservancy's Leap Year gala fundraiser
When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29
Where: Gasparilla Inn Beach Club on Boca Grande, 451 Gilchrist Ave.
Why: To help protecting and improve the tarpon environment.
Cost: $95 per person or $850 for groups of 10.
Contact: Call (941) 830-8922.
Toast to the Coast Committee
Dean and Jamie Beckstead, Gar and Sanea Beckstead, Palm Island; George and Lois Castrucci, Bill and Katie Caldwell, Pat Chapman, Walter and Jean Meanwell; Bayne and Jeanie Stevenson, Bryan and Diane Troutman, Boca Grande; President Jim Cooper and Bill and Hilary Dahms, Cape Haze; and David and Laurie Dignam, Englewood.
Toast to the Coast sponsors include the Key Agency of Englewood and Boca Grande and Florida Shores Bank.
"Additional sponsorships are available, and we encourage corporations, businesses and friends to become part of our program," said Conservancy President Jim Cooper.
There will be a cash bar, silent auction, steel band music, a live suction with celebrity auctioneer Jimmy Dean and food stationscreated by the Gasparilla Inn's chefs.
All proceeds to benefit Lemon Bay Conservancy. Cocktail casual attire is appropriate.
For reservations call (941) 830-8922.