Southwest Florida’s largest fundraiser supporting the region’s water, land and wildlife initiatives, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s annual Magic Under the Mangroves™ gala dinner and auction fundraiser raised $1.3 million to benefit the organization.
More than 420 guests attended the March 5 event held on the grounds of the Conservancy Nature Center. Presented by Northern Trust, the Magic Under the Mangroves fundraiser is a key source of revenue for Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Since 2005, the event has raised nearly $7 million with all proceeds supporting the Conservancy mission to “protect our water, land, wildlife and future” in the region.
“When you bring together the region’s most committed and passionate supporters of our environment, it’s amazing what we can accomplish,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “On behalf of the Conservancy, we extend our greatest appreciation to our Magic committee and all our supporters who helped us achieve our goals. The dollars raised help fund key initiatives such as sea turtle tracking and protection, wildlife rehabilitation, education programs for children, water quality monitoring – as well as protecting the most vulnerable wildlife – our threatened and endangered species.”
It was an emotional end to the evening with the auctioning of the first Steven Leonard Diamond. The nearly two-carat diamond was donated by William Boyajian of Port Royal Jewelers in the name of Steven Leonard, a fellow Magic Under the Mangroves committee member. The 32-year-old’s life was cut short in a tragic fire last month in Naples. In order to continue Steven’s legacy of philanthropy, Boyajian established the Steven Leonard Diamond Award, through which a diamond will be given annually to local charities.