Blues by the Bay Raises $50,000 for Area Children

The Heights Foundation’s 2nd Annual Blues By the Bay event raised $50,000 for School Success programs for at-risk children in the Harlem Heights neighborhood in Fort Myers. Chico’s FAS was the Presenting Sponsor. Additional sponsors include Edison National Bank & Bank of the Islands, Gretchen and Mark Banks and the Sanibel-Captiva Islander/Island Reporter. The evening of live music, excellent food and drinks was held at a private beachfront home currently listed for sale by McMurray & Nette of Royal Shell Real Estate.

Guests enjoyed samplings from Sanibel and Captiva’s finest restaurants including Blue Coyote Supper Club, Cantina Captiva, Key Lime Bistro, Sanibel Catering Company by Bailey’s and Starfish Grille. VIP guests enjoyed a pre event reception at The Sanibel Sea School with a raw bar by The Timbers. The Lighthouse Resort & Tiki Bar welcomed guests with champagne. Live music was provided by Lori & Randy Thomas.

Guests had the opportunity to bid on fabulous auction lots including an in home gourmet wine dinner for 8 guests by celebrated Chef Brian Roland of Crave Culinaire, a private 1/2 day boat tour for 10 with Bruce Neill (Doc Bruce), co-founder and executive director of The Sanibel Sea School followed by a pasta party at Matzaluna, an original artwork by Sanibel artist Jolie Black, an in home Caribbean-inspired wine and rum dinner for 10 by Chef Justin Fleming and an in home “Under the Sea” champagne mermaid lunch for 8 by Chef Gloria Jordan.

“We are appreciative that the residents and businesses of Sanibel and Captiva opened their hearts and made this event a success,” said Kathryn Kelly, president & CEO of The Heights Foundation. “Our School Success programs include academic tutoring, after school and summer camp programs, scholarship and college access assistance, school supplies, and tuition support. Each program is geared to meet the specific needs of children and young adults who seek to further their education.”

For more information about The Heights Foundation and The Heights Center visit www.heightsfoundation.org or call (239) 482-7706.

About the Heights Foundation and the Heights Center
The Heights Foundation works to build self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. The mission is to support education and wellness, promote family and community development, and provide the benefits of enrichment and the arts. The Heights Center, supported by The Heights Foundation, is a place for Education, Opportunity, and Enrichment.

Harlem Heights was originally settled as a rural agricultural community. Approximately 780 children live in a mixture of single-family homes and multi-family apartments. Demographically, the population is approximately 70% Hispanic, 20% African-American, and 8% Caucasian. The poverty rate for children in Harlem Heights is more than twice the county average, with family income 40% below the county average. Families are not able to easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers, and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood.