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Spirit of the Holidays set for Dec. 4

November 1, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Hurricane Irma delayed planning, but the Beach Kids Foundation's annual event is underway.

Spirit of the Holidays is set for Monday, Dec. 4.

This year's event will have a little extra flair: it will be held at Al Durrett's new Fish-Tale Waterfront Dining restaurant.

It will be the yet-to-open restaurant's first large private event.

"Kathy and I are pleased to have this for our inaugural party for the restaurant," Durrett said. "I've attended the Beach Kids event, now I'll be hosting it."

Tickets are $100. There won't be a silent auction this year, because of the time crunch to get donations, said Beach Kids President Fran Myers. Instead, the event will focus on a delicious meal and a live auction, with the proceeds going to the organization.

"We're late planning this year because of the storm," Myers said. She was afraid the organization wouldn't be able to have the event this year, until Fish-Tale Marina's Janeen Paulauskis suggested having the event at the new venue.

The event is limited to 150 people.

The party will start at 6 p.m.with a cocktail hour, where attendees can purchase speciality cocktails made just for the event and peruse some of the live auction items. Dinner will begin at 7 three courses, starting with a watermelon, ricotta, cucumber with golden raisin vinaigrette salad. Entree options are sauted chicken, rice pilaf broccolini with a sherry cream sauce, togarashi-spiced salmon with carrot ginger puree and jasmine rice, or skirt steak with smashed potatoes, broccolini and a chimichurri sauce with fried plantain. Dessert is vanilla bean gelato with a holiday cookie.

Auction item include the signature dinners with the Fort Myers Beach Fire District, which partners with the foundation. The firefighters will be in attendance at the dinner and will be helping with the auction.

Another top-shelf auction item will be a "Chef's Dinner," valued at more than $700. The winner will get to bring six guests to the restaurant for Chef Christian Potts to cook dinner right before their eyes.

The annual foundation event funds the organization's holiday gift drive. Using a network of community and school connections, the Foundation gets wish list from kids in economically-disadvantaged families in the community and purchase items from the list. Then on Christmas Eve, Santa delivers the gifts via fire truck.

"I think there will be a greater need because of the hurricane this year," Myers said.

The foundation also funds scholarships for local college students and hosts an Easter egg hunt every year.

"If it wasn't for the community support, these kids wouldn't get their gifts" said Tracey Gore, a board member.

To purchase tickets, visit or call the Red Coconut RV Park at 3001 Estero Blvd., or 439-7200; or the Fish-Tale Marina business office at 7225 Estero Blvd., or 463-3600; or call either Linda Beasley at 980-0661 or Tracey Gore at 849-3603. Can't make it to the dinner? Monetary donations can be mailed by check to the Beach Kids Foundation, 3001 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach 33931.



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