To the editor:
The bus schedules are set, homes are receiving a final polish, the 96-page keepsake program is at the printers, and an army of 100 plus volunteers -- Zontians, their friends and family members -- is gearing up for one long, exciting, tiring, and ultimately rewarding day.
On Saturday, March 15 is the 13th annual "A Peek at the Unique," the signature fundraiser for the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva. Executed under the auspices of the Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida, the event raises money to be distributed in grants to organizations that support Zonta's mission: to improve women's lives.
This is a good time to pause and honor the event's most generous supporters, especially those who open their homes, those businesses or individuals who sponsor homes or contribute at the premier ad sponsor level, and individuals who also donate at the highest level:
"Art in the Park" (Homes of Ernie and Sheila Hoen and Maddy Mayor) House sponsor: UBS (Cynthia Lopez)
"Rainbow's End" (Home of Ron and Spring Rosen) House sponsor: Gulf Breeze Cottages
"A Touch of the Riviera" (Home of Rosalyn McGlynn) House sponsors: Law Office of Janet Strickland, P.A. and Beggs Realtors (Denice Beggs)
"Casa Sin Nombre" (Home of Marvin and Helene Gralnick) House sponsor: Joan Sherman
The Sanibel-Captiva Trust Company and Dan Hahn Custom Builders made generous contributions as premier ad sponsors. Major benefactors who wrote personal checks include Sally and Richard Ennis, Gail and Gianni Migliorini, Michael and Dickey Peers, and Linda Robison.
Joan Sherman, a former Peek homeowner and benefactor, commented: "I was inspired by the work of Zonta to make a further contribution, to ensure there will be more dollars to help women and girls improve their lives-on the islands, in Lee County and around the world."
In addition to financial contributors, the 70-plus members of the local Zonta chapter honor others who provide priceless support. The event is staged at the Sanibel Community Church, which generously allows use of its courtyard, fellowship hall, kitchen, and parking area. Support from the local print media -- the Island Sun, the Islander and Island Reporter -- has made it possible to tell the Zonta story and encourage support island-wide.
Dolphin Transportation -- "the bus guys" -- and Island Graphics have for years consistently gone above and beyond their contracts to help Zonta ensure every detail is taken care of. And again this year, owner and designer Jana of Floral Artistry will donate a gorgeous arrangement for each tour home.
The 13th Peek, organizers say, is shaping up to be yet another record-breaker. Since 2002, the event has expanded from a simple guided tour to include more buses; a longer schedule; a keepsake program packed with ads and information; "Peek Perks" discount coupons; and the "Six Chances at the Unique" raffle (tickets on sale up to Peek day).
By the third week of January, all 608 tour tickets had been sold -- a record in terms of time as well as numbers. The number of businesses placing program ads or "Peek Perk" coupons is the largest ever at 160, and 26 island restaurants and caterers will provide food and beverages. Individual benefactors total almost 50.
It's not too late to help, visit zontasancap.com and make a personal donation. All proceeds go to organizations that improve women's lives through initiatives that address education, health and safety.
-Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva