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

Kathryn Kelly with host Sandy Stilwell

Kathryn Kelly with host Sandy Stilwell

The Heights Foundation’s inaugural “Blues By the Bay” event raised $50,000 for School Success programs for at-risk children in the Harlem Heights neighborhood in Fort Myers.   Lily & Co. Jewelry Gallery was the Presenting Sponsor.  Additional sponsors include RE/MAX of the Islands, Comcast, The Sanibel-Captiva Islander/Island Reporter and Stilwell Enterprises.  The evening of live music, excellent food and drinks was held at the waterfront Sanibel home of Sandy Stilwell.  Guests enjoyed samplings from Sanibel and Captiva’s finest restaurants including Blue Coyote Supper Club, Cantina Captiva, Il Tesoro, Keylime Bistro, Sanibel Catering Company by Bailey’s, SS Hookers and The Timbers.  Fine wines and a signature Blue Bay Martini were served courtesy of E&J Gallo Winery.  The champagne sponsor was The Lighthouse Resort & Tiki Bar.  Live music was provided by The Marty Stokes Band and Lori & Randy Thomas with Rob Robinson.

Guests had the opportunity to bid on fabulous auction lots including a $5,000 gift certificate to Lily & Co. Jewelry Gallery, A “Lux Life” package including a week in a premium Jaguar courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover of Fort Myers, $1,250 in designer clothing and a $1,000 premium jewelry gift certificate, a Sanibel-Captiva staycation showcase featuring lodging at the Captiva Island Inn, meals and golf at some of the best the islands have to offer, a sunset cruise courtesy of Captiva Cruises for up to 20 guests with gourmet hors d’oeuvres and wine and a show-stopping dinner for 8 guests in the winning bidder’s home created exclusively to their preferences by top local chef Brian Roland of Crave Culinaire.  Sponsors and auction winners received a pair of custom-etched wine glasses by Luc Century, designed specifically for this inaugural event.

Presenting Sponsors Dan Schuyler and Karen Bell of Lily & Co.

Presenting Sponsors Dan Schuyler and Karen Bell of Lily & Co.

“We are appreciative that the residents and businesses of Sanibel and Captiva opened their hearts and made this event a success, especially Sandy Stilwell and Lily & Co.” 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. We look forward to growing Blues by the Bay into an annual music event.”

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 Center, supported by The Heights Foundation, is a place for Education, Opportunity, and Enrichment.  The Heights Foundation works to build strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.  As a 501(c)3 grassroots organization, the Center’s mission is to promote family and community development, support education, health and wellness, and provide the benefits of enrichment, expressive and cultural arts.

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.

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