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Raffle, silent auction key elements of Garden Gala

February 13, 2013
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

An assortment of raffle items and a few silent auction items will be a part of the Garden Gala later this month to raise money for many Pine Island charities that the Pine Island Garden Club supports.

The 12th Annual Pine Island Garden Gala will be held Saturday, Feb. 23, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., at Phillips Garden Park.

Rob Wells, general manager of Tarpon Lodge, said he wants to support the Garden Gala every year because there are so many folks from the community that are a part of the Pine Island Garden Club. He said many of the women come to the lodge for lunch and dinner as well.

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An assortment of donated items from businesses and residents of the island will be a part of the Garden Gala raffle on Feb. 23.

"I want to give back to one of the causes that they support," he said.

Wells donated a two-night stay at the Tarpon Lodge, which is one of the silent auction items for the Garden Gala.

This year some of the raffle prizes include a $25 gift certificate to Carraba's; autographed photos of some of the Pittsburgh Steelers; "Best of Color Garden for Florida" by Pamela Crawford; "Along the Caloosahatchee River" by Amy Bennett Williams; two tickets to Edison Ford Estates; a hand-crafted pillow by artist Gretchen Bennett; a hand-painted rain barrel by Marty Kendall; turquoise and lime green fused glass fish by Lynne Smith; a gift bag from the Beacon of H.O.P.E.; $50 gift certificates from Winn-Dixie; and prints of dolphins by Sandy Costanzo.

Fact Box

If You Go

What: 12th Annual Pine Island

Garden Club

When: Saturday, Feb. 23, from

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Phillips Garden Park, Pine

Island Center


Center of Attention Day Spa Owner Tonya Elder said she has donated items for the raffle for the past 10 years.

"We have many clients who are Garden Club members," she said. "Our philosophy is to support those who support us."

This year the basket "Time for Me" consists of $50 gift certificate with shampoo, conditioner and hair treatment from Angles; Little Lilly's Island deli $20 gift certificate, Koozie and T-shirt; and a $75 gift certificate to Center of Attention Day Spa and about a hundred dollars worth of products from the spa.

"We admire the Garden Club and their founding members especially," Elder said.

She said before she opened the doors to Center of Attention Day Spa 10 years ago, there was no spa on the island, just like before the Garden Club began.

"Together with all the other wonderful attributes of Pine Island we build a community," Elder said.

Donna Schneider of Pine Island Tropicals, who is also a vendor of the event, said she has been donating items for the raffle for the past 12 years.

"I always give lots of things," she said.

This year, Schneider said its raffle basket will have a bromeliad, orchid and organic fertilizer in it, to go along with her husband's presentation during the gala about how to grow organic vegetables and tropicals.

"It is a great little event and fund-raiser," she said due to it being a free event with multiple vendors.

She said she donates items because it is beneficial to them because they have the opportunity to educate people, as well as drawing interest to their business.

"We donate the plants because we are helping various organizations," Schneider said.



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