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The Island Inn, built in 1895, is the most established Inn on Sanibel and Captiva and as such, is steeped in island history. Supporting island charities was part of the mission that began with the Inn’s founders, the Matthews family.
Today, we carry on this same tradition and support a range of island charities and local events. These include:
The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
The Island Inn was the original location of Sanibel Island’s world famous Shell Fair. Maintaining this long established association, the Inn has partnered with the non-profit Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum on several projects. The Island Inn recently hosted the annual fundraising event, Under the Sea, to benefit the Museum and the Museum is helping to restore the shell exhibition cases located throughout the Inn. The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum features more than 30 exhibits of mollusks from around the world. Exhibits are devoted to shells in art and history, shell habitat, rare specimens, fossil shells, common Southwest Florida shells, and more. The learning lab features a hands-on play area for children, displays, games, and a tank with live indigenous mollusks. A half-hour video, mollusks in action, is shown on the hour, and a children’s video is shown continuously.
For more information go to: www.shellmuseum.org
Sanibel-Captiva Fireworks Celebration
The Island Inn was a major sponsor of Sanibel Island’s 4th of July fireworks celebration. This community wide event was free for all to attend and included an outdoor party and the traditional spectacular fireworks display.
Annual 10K Race for F.I.S.H.
The Island Inn is proud to be a sponsor of the Annual 10K Race for F.I.S.H. (Friends in Service Here). FISH is the island’s human services organization and the race is its main fundraising event. Held every year on Sanibel it attracts more than 500 runners.
F.I.S.H. is a non-profit volunteer organization assisting Sanibel and Captiva islanders and visitors with a wide range of services including a food pantry, a daily hot meals program and emergency financial assistance for those in need.
For more information: www.fishofsanibel.com
J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge: Sea Turtle Preservation Mission
The Island Inn has pledged to assist Ding Darling in their Sea Turtle Preservation Mission. The Mission educates guests and residents about the protection of the different species of sea turtles that nest on Sanibel and Captiva Islands and their significance for the local ecosystem. The Island Inn helps to distribute educational materials, informational brochures and children’s activity booklets to resort guests. For more information: www.fws.gov/dingdarling
CROW’s Animal Ambassador: Trouper, the Blind Raccoon
CROW is the Clinic For Rehabilitation of Wildlife. CROW operates a veterinary hospital, an educational program and a public visitor education center. CROW’s primary mission is the rescue, care, rehabilitation and eventual release back to the wild of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. A key part of this mission is the education of adults and children, encouraging them to live in peaceful coexistence with their wild neighbors.
As part of the program, CROW’s Animal Ambassador, Trouper, the loveable blind raccoon, hosted a holiday party at the Island Inn. Guests from the Inn and local children with their parents learned about the importance of respecting and protecting all wildlife.
For more information: www.crowclinic.org
Panther Baseball Alumni Club
The Panther Baseball Alumni Club is a local non-profit organization that raises funds to support a local High School baseball team, Cypress Lake, which many Sanibel residents attend. Cash raised from this event goes to provide supplies and college scholarships to promising high school student athletes who excel in sports, academics and in their respective communities. The Island Inn is one of the main sponsors and organizers of this event, now in its second year. The fundraising event involves the hosting of a fishing tournament followed by a gala dinner. For more information: www.pantherbaseballalumni.org
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation
The Island Inn has partnered with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) to host SCCF Beach Walks. These guided walks teach guests and locals about the local tides, currents and winds and their impact on the appearance and geography of Sanibel’s beaches.
The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel and Captiva and in the surrounding watershed. SCCF offers a wide array of educational programs for people of all ages, from beach walks to trail walks, boat tours, wading trips and kayak tours plus classroom-based activities. For more information: www.sccf.org
Other Island Inn Donations
In addition to the organizations listed, the Island Inn donated over $18,000 in goods and services to other local charities and organizations this year, they included:
- Sanibel-Captiva Island Lions Club
- Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club
- Imaginarium Science Center
- Sanibel Island Fishing Club
- City of Sanibel’s Financial Assistance Program
- Children’s Education Center of the Islands
- Lee Memorial Health System Foundation
- Sanibel Historical Museum & Village
- Children Organ Transplant Association
- United Way of Lee County Inc.
- Florida Gulf Coast University
Employees of the Island Inn also donate to United Way of Lee County directly from their paychecks, through an authorized tax free program, administered by Island Inn.