By MEGHAN McCOY
The first benefit for the Matlacha Bridge Reef Project will take place this weekend at the Olde Fish House.
Artist Mel Meo designed the logo for the Matlacha Bridge Reef Project, which will be sold on T-shirts at the benefit.
"We need the community to come out and show their support at the event ... it will be a fun time for everyone," said Tina Bush of Island Floors Inc. & Interiors.
The money that is raised during the benefit will go towards moving a portion of the old Matlacha Bridge to a location on the southern most tip of the Novac Reef. The more money the Matlacha Bridge Reef Project raises the more of the old bridge can be taken to the reef location.
The efforts are focused between now and the first of October to raise enough money for the move.
The fund-raiser will take place Saturday, Sept. 22, from 3-6 p.m., at the Olde Fish House Marina in Matlacha. Tickets to attend the event are $10, which includes a fish fry.
Individuals can call 239-244-4434 for tickets, to ensure there is enough food for everyone to enjoy at the event. Tickets can also be purchased the day of the event.
The benefit will also feature a silent auction, a seafood raffle and a 50/50 raffle. Live music will be performed by Ramblin' Rose.
Bush said the silent auction items range from weekend vacation getaways to charter fishing trips.
T-shirts will also be available during the event for $20, which will feature the logo artist Mel Meo designed.
The benefit will also include "Secrets of Pine Island Fishing Seminar," which will be held by Capt. Dick May. The seminar will touch upon ways to prepare fish, as well as how to catch fish on Pine Island.
The idea of turning the old Matlacha Bridge into an artificial reef came to fruition the first week of July and soon turned into a non-profit organization - the Matlacha Bridge Reef Project - because Rod Mazzoli of Island Floors Inc. & Interiors wanted to preserve a piece of the island's history.