The Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s 13th annual Magic Under the Mangroves™ gala dinner and auction fundraiser held Thursday, March 2 raised $1.2 million to benefit the organization. Presented by Northern Trust and William Raveis Real Estate, Magic Under the Mangroves™ recognizes the continuing importance of protecting the natural environment and quality of life in Southwest Florida. The gala is a key source of revenue for the Conservancy. All proceeds from the fundraiser support the Conservancy’s mission to protect our water, land, wildlife and future.

“As one of the top charitable events in Southwest Florida, and our largest annual fundraiser at the Conservancy, Magic Under the Mangroves™ is an important part of funding the work we do daily to protect Southwest Florida’s natural resources,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “The funds raised from this event will allow us to continue the influential work of our biologists, policy advocates, education team and wildlife rehabilitation staff, allowing us to make a difference in Southwest Florida for years to come. We extend our sincerest thanks to all who joined us in making this year’s event such a success.”

The visionary of the 2017 theme, Flock to Magic for Birds Eye View came from the 2017 Magic Under the Mangroves Chair, Carol Dinardo. As the proprietor of Windows Catering, Dinardo’s team created a masterful centerpiece of floating acrylic food displays holding an assortment of sustainable small plates with a variety of artfully designed miniature appetizers designed with organic legume to create a pattern to replicate a “Birds Eye View”.

Based in Washington D.C., the Windows culinary team spent several months researching and developing the menu and overall gastronomic experience. The detail and logistics coordination is well thought out with a plan in place to ensure safe arrival of the food the day before the gala. Members of the culinary team, as well as captains, bartenders and waiters, travel to Naples in advance to ensure flawless execution of even the smallest detail in order to create a successful event.

“When you love something, it is your responsibility to protect it, and I am passionate about the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Magic Under the Mangroves™ because I believe that it is up to us to care for the world we live in,” Dinardo said. “Magic Under the Mangroves™ is all about protecting what we love about Southwest Florida. The food, décor and audiovisual experience came together to create an ambiance that reminded guests of the importance of investing in our natural environment.”

“We have all been touched in some way by the power of nature, and we recognize the deeper value in preserving the natural beauty of Southwest Florida. Our home is truly like no other, and Magic Under the Mangroves™ does so much to protect our water, land, wildlife and future,” said Ken Krier, board chair of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s board of directors. “We believe that there is no better way to ensure the success of our mission, than to get people excited about what we do, and we are honored to receive such passionate support from our Southwest Florida community.”

In addition to Northern Trust and William Raveis Real Estate as the presenting sponsors, supporting sponsors of the Magic Under the Mangroves™ event include AVMedia, Germain BMW, Gulfshore Life, Florida Weekly, NBC-2 and the Naples Daily News.

For more information on 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, Fla., 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