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CHR Mardi Gras hailed as success, doubles annual fundraising

March 24, 2014
By MCKENZIE CASSIDY ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

CHR's Mardi Gras event is now an island mainstay.

Not only has it engaged the island community -- operating this year with more guests in the larger Dunes venue -- but it more than doubled the amount it raised in 2013.

Mardi Gras for Sanibel's Community Housing & Resources, a non-profit providing affordable housing for low-income families, is the major fundraising event of the year.

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At the last meeting of the CHR's Board of Directors on March 18, Treasurer Melissa Rice reported that the total amount raised was $41,750, but really $28,700 after accounting for expenditures. They sold 208 tickets, including 36 sponsor tickets.

"I think that we hit our goal. Even though our expenses and income were higher, we hit our goal of $28,000 or $29,000," said Rice. "For Mardi Gras it was a great success I'd say, we doubled what we earned from the year before."

CHR raised $12,000 with last year's inaugural event. The board expects the amount to continue increasing each year.

"The second annual Mardi Gras event was successful," said Board President Richard Johnson. "It continues to get us out there in front of people. It engages us in the community."

The board recognized Rice, Executive Director Kelly Collini and CHR staff for organizing the event, as well as members of the board who made contributions and volunteered their time.

Board Member Tim Garmager, director of the Development Committee, pointed out that two-thirds of the funds came from sponsorships and he suggested the board find out what sponsors liked and disliked about the event.

"We should focus on sponsors and what they want, and what we might want to change for next year to be more attractive," said Garmager.

The board later voted to move the date of the CHR Annual Meeting from April 5 to April 12 and the executive committee reported that it's in the process of exploring relationships with community leaders on Captiva Island to see if the need for low-income housing exists.

For more information on CHR, visit



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