It’s Mardi Gras … Sanibel style! As the biggest fundraiser of the year for the island’s Community Housing Resources organization, Mardi Gras is always a fun-filled time, but organizers of this year’s event — to be held Saturday, February 6, at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club — are planning to make even more of a splash!
In addition to feasting on a New Orleans style dinner, Mardi Gras partiers will be able to stroll through a recreation of Bourbon Street, complete with live entertainment.
The highlight of the evening, however, will be at the pool, where teams from three of the major Mardi Gras event sponsoring organizations will compete in a sure-to-be-thrilling “Swim for the Beads” swimming relay race.
Teams from the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club (“Team Purple”), Sanibel Captiva Community Bank (“Team Gold”) and the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company (“Team Green”) have been busy preparing for the race with “rigorous” conditioning programs. Each swimmer will need to traverse one length of the pool by any means necessary, and as there are no rules about swimming attire either, there’s sure to be some surprises in store.
And party goers can join in the fun.
“Mardi Gras revelers can buy strings of beads that represent the color of their team—purple gold, or green,” explains Les Boyle, who is coaching the Sanibel Captiva Kiwanis Club’s Purple Team. “With every string of beads, you get to place a raffle ticket in that team’s bucket. All teams will pull raffle tickets from their team buckets, but the winning team gets the chance to draw for most of the prizes, including the grand prize, which is an all-inclusive trip to the real Bourbon Street in New Orleans.”
“The more beads you buy to support your team, the better your chances of winning that grand prize,” says Sanibel Captiva Trust Company team coach Steve Greenstein, “and since our Green Team is going to win this thing, I would suggest all partygoers buy a lot of green beads.”
Coach Craig Albert of the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank Gold Team disagrees. “Well, I know Greenstein thinks he’s got this in the bag, but come on. We know the Gold Team has this locked up. Buy gold beads and you will walk away with a lot of great prizes including that trip to New Orleans.”
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Coach Boyle of the Sanibel Captiva Kiwanis Club Purple Team has his own prediction of the relay’s outcome. “After weeks of exhaustive training at the Lazy Flamingo, the Kiwanis super-fit athletes are in prime condition and we are going to blow away those other slacker teams!”
One thing is for sure, though — you won’t want to miss out on the fun! Tickets for the event can be purchased online at SanibelCHR.org/mardi-gras-2016 or by phone at 239-472-1189.
Community Housing and Resources, Inc. (CHR) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing affordable housing for families and individuals who work full-time on Sanibel and for long-time retired or disabled residents of Sanibel. For more information about CHR, visit online at SanibelCHR.org, or call 239-472-1189.