The Conservancy of Southwest Florida will host the 14th annual Magic Under the Mangroves gala dinner and auction fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8 at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center. Presented by Northern Trust, the Magic Under the Mangroves fundraising event is a recognition of the importance of protecting the natural environment and quality of life in Southwest Florida, and is a key source of revenue for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. All proceeds from the fundraiser support the Conservancy’s mission to protect the region’s water, land, wildlife and future.

One of the top fundraising events in Southwest Florida, Magic Under the Mangroves draws hundreds of guests each year. The event begins with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a seated dinner by award-winning “green” caterer Windows Catering and live and silent auctions featuring one-of-a-kind items and experiences.

Carol Dinardo, co-owner of Windows Catering, serves as the chair of this year’s Magic Under the Mangroves event. As a Naples resident, she appreciates the beauty and natural surroundings of the region, and recognizes the importance of investing in Southwest Florida, protecting its natural resources for years to come.

“Magic Under the Mangroves is about protecting the things we love about Southwest Florida,” said Dinardo. “Together, we can inspire future generations to better protect our water, land and wildlife.”

Proceeds from the event will fund Conservancy programs that protect Southwest Florida’s natural resources, including animal tracking, patient care within the von Arx Wildlife Hospital, education, advocacy, equipment, internships and summer camp scholarships. Through the generosity of donors, in the last year, the Conservancy has treated more than 3,800 injured animals at the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. Additionally, more than 55,000 people received high-quality environmental education within the community and at the Nature Center.

The fund-a-need portion of this year’s live auction will champion the powerful impact of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s internship program. Interns are an integral part of the Conservancy’s operations, contributing to the success of wildlife rehabilitation efforts, delivering Nature Center programs to guests, helping analyze data and much more. While internships allow the Conservancy to expand its reach within the Southwest Florida community, the program is an investment for the nonprofit. The funds raised during the signature gala will help support key internship opportunities within the Conservancy.

“As our largest annual fundraiser, Magic Under the Mangroves plays an important role in supporting the influential work of the Conservancy, enabling our team to advocate for the natural treasures of our region,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “Through this year’s Magic Under the Mangroves gala, we are able to support the Conservancy’s efforts to address environmental challenges and inspire future generations of conservationists, and we look forward to bringing the community together make a difference right here in Southwest Florida.”

In addition to Magic Under the Mangroves’ presenting sponsor, Northern Trust, the event’s supporting sponsor is William Raveis Real Estate, and media sponsors include Gulfshore Life, NBC-2, Naples Daily News and Florida Weekly.

Magic Under the Mangroves began as the 40th-anniversary celebration for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. The 2017 Magic Under the Mangroves event raised more than $1.2 million, a sizeable portion of the Conservancy’s annual operating budget. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $9.3 million. For more information on Magic Under the Mangroves call 239-403-4218 or visit www.conservancy.org/events/magic-under-the-mangroves.

About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a not-for-profit environmental protection organization with a 50-year history focused on the issues impacting the water, land wildlife and future of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Conservancy accomplishes this mission through the combined efforts of its experts in the areas of environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, world-class Nature Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital are headquartered in Naples, Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road. Learn more about the Conservancy’s work and how to support the quality of life in Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org.