The first annual Southwest Florida Fest (SWFF) will be held at White Cottage Red Door in Fish Creek on September 30 (1-4 pm) to benefit projects by the Friends of Peninsula State Park, including the rebuilding of Eagle Tower. The event will be the first time reclaimed wood and metal from the Tower are being made available to the public.
Door County residents Bob and Paula Cummings started SWFF to bring together people who spend part of the year in both Door County and southwest Florida. SWFF members organize an annual fall party that also benefits a different Door County non-profit each time. Paula Cummings has organized similar events in Florida through the non-profits Marco Island Charities and Island Angels.
The Eagle Tower fundraiser on September 30 is being sponsored by the owners of a new farm market in Fish Creek, White Cottage Red Door. Market owners Chris and Jessica Hadraba and Lisa and Kevin Howard, former residents of Marco Island, opened the business in the spring of 2017 in the former Cherry Hut location (8813 Hwy 42). The new market features artisan goods, handmade fudge, pies, bakery items and a full wine and beer selection.
The fundraiser is open to the public and attendees do not need to be part-time residents of Southwest Florida to join in the fun, noted organizer Paula Cummings. Event tickets will be sold at the door, $25 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under. Each ticket covers food and drinks as well as one raffle ticket.
The event features live entertainment, a raffle, and a silent auction. The event’s star attraction is a live auction of pieces of wood and metal from the iconic Eagle Tower, the first time the public has had access to these souvenir materials. The auction will include limited “as is” wood and metal pieces as well as repurposed pieces. Carpenters and artists are encouraged to contact Eagle Tower Fund Campaign Director Rachel Stollenwerk (firstname.lastname@example.org) to participate in artful repurposing of Tower materials. All fundraiser proceeds will be donated to the Friends of Peninsula State Park, an organization dedicated to meaningful contributions toward the preservation and goals of Peninsula State Park. The Friends provide volunteer services and financial support for the Park’s interpretive, educational, recreational and visitor service programs.
Contact Friends of Peninsula Board President Chris Holicek (email@example.com) if you are interested in being an event sponsor or would like to contribute either raffle prizes or silent auction items.
Next year’s SWFF fundraising event will take place on September 29, 2018. Email Paula Cummings (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get involved as a sponsor or donator.