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Thank you for the support
March 24, 2020

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To the editor:

The 83rd Annual Sanibel Shell Festival, co-hosted by the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club and the Sanibel Community Association, was a great success and the two organizations wish to express their appreciation to everyone who supported and attended the event. The partnership of these two organizations has been essential to make the festival one of the most important and well attended Sanibel events. Also, our third partner, Mother Nature, was kind - at least no storms or snow! Who needs snowflakes when one has seashells!

Special thanks go to Sue Schoenherr, Joyce Matthys and Mary Burton, the chairs whose tremendous efforts over the year since the last festival are largely responsible for the 83rd Shell Festival's success.

The following generously donated to the SCA raffle: Sanibel-Captiva Beach Resorts - five-night vacation; Congress Jewelers - Sanibel seashell jewelry; Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum and Traders 2 - private tour of the museum and lunch; Sanibel Seashell Industries - specimen shell; Captiva Cruises and Stilwell Enterprises - half-day shelling cruise and lunch on Captiva; Tyler and Susan Schoenherr - cone sculpture covered with shell and marine life created by shell crafter Beverly Visnesky.

The club would like to extend a special thank you to our scientific judges, MG "Jerry" Harasewych and Harry G. Lee, and to our artistic judges, Sharlene Totten and Phyllis Gray; and to the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum for giving half-price tickets to everyone who gave the $5 donation to enter the Shell Show.

The club would like to thank the following individuals and businesses for making major financial contributions to the Sanibel Shell Show. There are four Angel Wing sponsors: Island Inn, the Fields Family, Meg Carey Born, James and Stacy Pezzino, and Clair Beckmann. Heart Cockle level sponsors include Karl Kotasek, Three Crafty Ladies, Susan Spohr, Bailey's General Store, Island Sun, She Sells Sea Shells, Bank of the Islands, the Clifford Family, and Dr. Rick Batt and Dr. Robin Harris.

Special thanks to MacIntosh Books and Paper for its extraordinary contributions. Special thanks also to Coastal Watch and Chase Bank for their donation of reusable canvas bags.

Besides these major sponsors, the following individuals and businesses sponsored the trophies and awards that were given to the winners of the competitions of the Shell Show: The Edinburg Family, Shalimar Cottages and Motel, Heather and Bill O'Keefe, Goz Gosselin, Sanibel Seashell Industries, West Wind Inn, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, Congress Jewelers, Jerry's Foods, Delaware Museum of National History, Conchologists of America, Carol Periard, Joyce Matthys, Norm Ziegler's Fly Shop, Gene Everson, Eugene C. Spencer, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Phyllis Sharp, Doug and Kathy Kapp, Matzaluna and the Timbers Restaurant, and Mary Burton.

In addition to the many items provided by our members, the club thanks Doc Ford's, Traders, Publix, Sanibel Deli and Coffee Factory, George and Wendy's, Huxters, and the Great White Grill for helping to offset the cost of providing lunch for our many exhibitors, judges, and all-day volunteers.

The club thanks its members and those who prepared the "thank you bags" of shells given at the Shell Show entrance. We thank the authors who participated in book signings at the Author's Table. And a big thank you to all the volunteers who gave so tirelessly of their time and efforts, and the exhibitors whose incredible scientific and artistic exhibits continue to make the Sanibel Shell Show the largest and most prestigious in the country.

Thank you to the Island Sun/River Weekly, Island Reporter/Sanibel-Captiva Islander, Santiva Chronicle, Florida Weekly, Fort Myers News Press, and Fort Myers Magazine for providing great coverage with stories and photos before and during the festival. The Island Sun's Sanibel Shell Festival magazine was beautifully done and distributed to all households on the islands and at the festival. A special thank you to FOX 4 for its terrific live television coverage.

A special thank you goes to SCA Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall and her staff for the many tasks they performed for the Shell Club and Shell Crafters throughout the festival.

A huge thank you to all the SCA volunteers who tirelessly worked to make the festival a success: the Shell Crafters working throughout the year whose talents incorporating shells and marine life created the lovely artistic florals, the Creation Artists making whimsical items, and the Jewelry Artisans designing lovely pieces; and the Shelling Bees who sort and prepare the shells to sell at the Shell Tent.

Thank you to the sixth-grade students of The Sanibel School for sharing their knowledge about mollusks at the live shell exhibit.

Thank you to the city of Sanibel and the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce for their assistance and support. Thank you to the island service clubs: Kiwanis, Lions, and Rotary who helped daily with parking. Appreciation is directed to the island businesses that promoted the festival. And most importantly, a huge thank you is extended to the community of Sanibel-Captiva for helping to make the 83rd Annual Sanibel Shell Festival a success, and to you, the attendees for your interest and patronage.

Planning is already underway for next year's 84th festival. The dates are March 4-6 at The Community House. Plan to attend and again be amazed!

Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club

Sanibel Community Association

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