More than 150 Cayo Costa State Park supporters gathered last week at Tarpon Lodge in Pineland at the "2nd Annual Evening for the Island" dinner and silent auction. Among the items won by donors was a rustic weekend for four on the island, artwork by pioneer fishing family descendant Fran Poppel and a private tour of the island by Assistant Park Manager David Dearth.
The event was hosted by the Friends of Cayo Costa State Park, and also featured entertainment by Emmy Award-winning flutist Kat Epple and a program about the island's unique characteristics given by Lee County Ecologist Roger Clark entitled "Cayo Costa The Coast Island." Clark was the island's first biologist and worked for Lee County for 28 years as land stewardship manager.
"The evening was a huge success and a testament to the fact that Cayo Costa is a special place to so many people. We were able to bring everyone up to date with how their continued support positively impacts the park," said Margi Nanney, president of the Friends of Cayo Costa State Park.
From left, biologist Roger Clark; Shohreh Durkin, Tarpon Lodge food & beverage manager; Margi Nanney, president/Friends of Cayo Costa State Park (FCC); Melanie Holaway, FCC membership chair; Sharon McKenzie-executive director/Barrier Island Park Society; and Brian Holaway, FCC board member.
The next event is "Cayo Costa Heritage Day" on May 3. Tickets will be available beginning in March on the group's website: www.friendsofcayocosta.org or by calling 941-527-7865.
The Friends of Cayo Costa State Park was founded in 2011 by the late Sally Tapager. The mission of the organization is to preserve, protect and promote Cayo Costa State Park so that present and future generations may continue to enjoy its natural beauty, its recreational opportunities and learn about its history through education, environmental stewardship and community partnerships.