(l-r) Kimberly Agnello, of JM Family Enterprises; Mark Warren, of the Warren Family Foundation; Gordon Gilbert, founder of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center; and Lisa Davis, of JM Family Enterprises. Photo provided
By Amy Woods
Friends of Gumbo Limbo, the volunteer support organization for Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, will raise a collective glass to the Sea Coast Toast in anticipation of the fundraiser being the biggest to date.
Brandon Canute, development manager for the Friends, said the guest list, the number of sponsors and the amount of proceeds all are expected to increase when the event comes to the Boca Country Club on March 24.
“We’re raising more money than we’ve ever raised before,” Canute said, noting that the Sea Coast Toast netted $40,000 in 2017, compared with $20,000 in 2016. “We more than doubled in one year, and it allowed us to do new, better things.”
The Friends expanded its scholarship program for students pursuing environmental careers and invested additional dollars in marine research at Florida Atlantic and Nova Southeastern universities. Intracoastal Adventures, an on-the-water educational program taken by canoe, kayak and paddleboard, was created. The Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility also received a boost.
“I feel like the Friends don’t have the same visibility as other friends groups,” Canute said. “For me, it’s a way to kind of put our name and our mission out there.”
The evening begins with a cocktail hour and a raffle, as well as a silent auction that includes a ride for two on the Goodyear blimp, a trip to New York City to see Hamilton (and meet the cast), and a culinary tour of Tuscany in Italy. A multicourse dinner will be served, and dancing to the music of Jimmy Stowe & the Stowaways will follow.
“This is our fundraiser,” Canute said. “Supporting Gumbo Limbo Nature Center gives you an opportunity to learn about the ecosystem and how it affects us. I think having Gumbo Limbo here and being able to bring your kids here for free to experience the environment adds value to your day. Despite all of the development going on, this is a sliver of the past.”
If You Go
What: Sea Coast Toast
When: 6 to 10 p.m. March 24
Where: Boca Country Club, 17751 Boca Club Blvd., Boca Raton
Cost: $125 to $150
Information: Call 544-8608 or visit gumbolimbo.org/seacoasttoast