Officials from Snook Bight Marina Yacht Club & Marina are gearing up for an Open House fundraiser that will offer plenty of large prizes to celebrate the addition of 74 new floating docks at the full service marine facility.
On Feb. 2, from noon to 6 p.m., stop by the free admission event that will feature family fun, an all-you-can-eat barbecue, drink, thousands of dollars in give-away raffle items, a look at the new docks, a golf shot for the grand prize and a wine tasting at onsite Bayfront Bistro.
More than $100,000 in prizes will be raffled off during the six-hour event, including a chance through a golf shot competition to win a Premier pontoon boat worth more than $60,000. Raffle prizes also include many trips to the islands of the Bahamas, including the Abacos Islands; holiday resort stays such as the Pink Shell Resort; aquatic fun from Holiday Water Sports; wines; and more.
While you are enjoying the open house, check out the new floating docks that completed the construction phases of the redevelopment of the marina property.
"The prize values are going up by the minute. These islands are all very remote and incredibly beautiful. The getaways include flights and everything," said Snook Bight resident owner Joe Yerkes. "The focus is the event itself, but we are giving all of the proceeds to the Bahamas National Trust."
One hundred percent of proceeds will be donated to the Bahamas National Trust, which provides protection to the delicate natural resources of the national park system of the Bahamas through stewardship and student education programs with universities worldwide.
"This is their first U.S.-based fundraising," said Yerkes, about Bahamas National Trust. "We've decided to tie it into our open house. We recognize the critical nature of what they are doing and how it relates to our area over here in protecting the environment and teaching our students and others how to develop our own programs to further the overall protection."
The golf shot competition will feature golfers trying to sink a golf ball from one of the new floating docks to a floating ring 135 yards away. Tickets are $20 for a single shot. The first 100 entrants will be entered and will have a shot unless a successful shot is made before other entrants. First one to sink the shot wins, and the remaining entrants will get their entry fee back and the competition ends.
"That'll be really great fun to watch," said Yerkes. "You can't roll it. It has to land directly in the ring."
Raffle tickets for the long list of prizes are two for $5 or 10 for $20. While waiting for the next raffle to be drawn, enjoy a barbecue lunch for only $5. Glasses of wine are available for only $2 and beer for $1.
Snook Bight opened in November 2008. Since then, it has received a Clean Marina designation for a proactive approach to environmental stewardship and an appointment as a full warranty and repower service center for Mercury and Mercruiser to accompany its current stable that includes Yamaha and Evinrude.
Snook Bight then completed the process of obtaining construction bids to build floating docks to replace its wood docks. This gave the marina 54 brand new permanent docks and the restaurant more than 20 temporary docks.
The redevelopment has been many years in the making.
"It represents the final completion of the construction phases of the redevelopment of this marina property that has been in operation since the 1800s," said Yerkes. "The floating docks make the final phase complete by replacing old fixed to timber docks from the 1960s."
Yerkes said the property that houses the marina was the location of the first post office on the island back in 1901 when the island was referred to as the Town of Carlos.
"It also was a weigh station for transporting freight to and from the out island. Then it became a transport station for the lumber yard down the island," he said. "After that, the Sanders built it into a working marina. This redevelopment carries on a very long tradition of this being an important marina location on the island."
In the near future, Yerkes plans on having information stations on the promenade overlooking the Back Bay with some of the historical information on the Calusa Indians."
Bahamas National Trust
Yerkes stated The Bahamas National Trust is responsible for the development and management of all of the national parks in the Bahamas, mostly out islands and reefs. They created the very first Land & Sea Park in the world -Exumas Cays Land & Sea Park.
"It has become a model for countries all over in their quest to protect the delicate reefs and pristine islands," he said. "The Bahamas has the longest and one of the most important reefs in the world running along the eastern shore of Andros Island. The Trust offers extensive education programs to universities worldwide and here, in Florida, students at Florida Gulf Coast University spend weeks in the Bahamas learning the importance of our natural environment and how to develop programs for protection. The Bahamas are our nearest neighbors, and the protection of the waters has direct benefit locally. This organization is funded primarily by public contributions from corporations and individuals. The Bahamas government also provides funding."