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Over $10,000 raised during 3rd Annual Island Pirate Fest

February 20, 2013
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

More than $10,000 was raised during the 3rd Annual Island Pirate Fest, a three-day event that benefited From Our Hearts.

"It was very successful, and a great time was had by all," event organizer Laura Smith said. "Each year we learn more about how to improve the event in the future."

The festivities kicked off Friday, Feb. 8, with 11 women participating in Parade of Mermaids. Smith said mermaids gathered and chatted at Bert's Pine Bay Gallery as donations were made for photographs taken with the mermaids.

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Everyone came dressed in pirate attire during the 3rd Annual Pirates Ball at Bert’s Bar and Grill. These three women won the first, second and third place prizes for the best costume on Feb. 9.

"The mermaids paraded to the seawall behind the gallery and threw rosemary into the sea in a blessing of the mermaids," she said. "Then the parade traveled over to Bert's Bar & Grill and paraded through gathering donations for From Our Hearts."

Two special guests also appeared during the Parade of Mermaids - Blue Mermaid Designs Alasea and Alora.

"Alasea and Alora, who are professional mermaids, donated their time and were there for attendees to take photos with them in exchange for a donation to From Our Hearts," Smith said.

The festivities continued Saturday, Feb. 9, with a Pirates Ball.

"The place was full and almost everyone was in costume," she said of Bert's Bar.

A costume contest was held and the first place winner received a $100 Bert's gift card, the second place winner received a $50 Bert's gift card and the third place winner for men's and women's received a $25 Bert's gift card.

On Sunday, Feb. 10, a Pirates Live Auction concluded the festivities with auctioneer Scott Robertson.

"It was a large crowd, enthusiastic, festive and generous," Smith said. "We were very privileged to have Scott Robertson as our auctioneer."

Smith said she would like to thank the entire community for supporting the weekend of events.

"Those who donated, those who volunteered their time, those who were bidders at the auction and those who purchased raffle tickets and/or photos with the mermaids," she said. "This was a community effort and the entire community should be proud of their part in it."

The Island Pirate Fest is very important to Smith.

"My mother and aunt are both breast cancer survivors. Today (Valentine's Day) marks 30 years for my mother. Breast cancer is a disease that affects so many families and I'm proud to be a part of helping to make treatment available to those who need it," she said.



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