The Conservancy of Southwest Florida raised a record $1.9 million net at the 14th annual Magic Under the Mangroves gala and auction, providing key funding that directly enhances the Conservancy’s mission of protecting Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife and future.

The four-hour eco-chic event held Thursday, March 8 at the Conservancy’s Nature Center, featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a seated dinner by award-winning, certified green caterer Windows Catering, of Washington D.C.  Led by chef Henry Dinardo, the team traveled to Naples exclusively for Magic Under the Mangroves gala.

“Henry and I made Naples our winter home in large part because of the area’s natural beauty,” said Carol Dinardo, Chair of Magic Under the Mangroves and Conservancy of Southwest Florida board member. “When we learned about the Conservancy’s mission to protect the region’s water, land, wildlife and future, getting involved was a natural fit for us.”

The theme of the 2018 Fund-A- Need: Inspire, Ignite, Invest focused on the Conservancy’s internship program. Each year the Conservancy receives more than 300 applications for approximately 26 internship positions. Interns support all areas of the Conservancy including the wildlife rehabilitation in the von Arx Wildlife Hospital, sea turtle research, educational outreach, advocacy efforts and much more. The interns gain valuable career experience while allowing the Conservancy to expand its mission. Additionally, the Conservancy offers interns the opportunity to live on-site in the Blair Dormitory and a stipend.

“On behalf of the entire team, our supporters, sponsors, board of directors, staff and volunteers, I am blown away by the generosity in support of our mission,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “The funds raised will enable our devoted teams of researchers, biologists, educators, policy specialists, wildlife rehabilitation specialists and interns to advance our mission of protecting Southwest Florida’s natural environment.”

The event was presented by Northern Trust, and William Raveis Real Estate was the supporting sponsor. Media sponsors included Florida Weekly, Gulfshore Life, Naples Daily News and NBC-2. NBC-2 Anchor Chad Oliver served as the guest emcee of the event.

To learn more, visit www.Conservancy.org/magic.

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.