Held recently at Gulf Coast Clays, in Port of the Islands, the event’s fifth incarnation drew a record number of shooters and also raised a record amount of money for the school.“My cup runneth over,” said Jane Watt, MIA’s founder and chairman of the board. “This year is by far the best, as far as the organization and the coordination.”
The competition pitted 16, five-member teams against each other to see which squad was more proficient at using shotguns to hit flying clay-pigeon targets, at stations arrayed over a laid-out course. As with previous years, the event included a luncheon for participants, music, and silent and live auctions. Attendees were also asked to “fund a need,” in this case, to donate funds earmarked for the purchase of new laptop computers for student usage at the school.“It’s not about, ‘We need new computers,’” said MIA principal Melissa Scott. “It’s about we need technology to move these kids forward. I’m not talking about ‘fund-a-need’ for ‘things.’ I’m talking to you about ‘fund-a-need’ for the futures of our kids. We need more testing computers so that we can keep moving forward.” The event raised $78,500 for MIA, up from about $52,500 in 2017 and about $50,000 in 2016. Included in the 2018 total is $16,500 in “fund a need” donations that will buy 33 new laptops for the school.
Included in the overall total were contributions of $10,000 each by event sponsors W. Scott and Brenda Rhinehart, Dinos and Marianne Iordanou, and Arch Capital, for which Dinos Iordanou is the CEO. In fact, the more than $53,000 raised in overall sponsorships was also a shootout record.“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of our community,” said Watt. “The funds raised at this event are essential to the success of our school and directly benefit our students.” As always, the event was hosted by its founder, Terry McCreanor of Ameriprise Financial Services’ Marco office, in partnership with the school. He was a close friend of the event’s namesake, Bill Rose. Rose was a Marco resident, successful businessman – he founded Rose Marina – philanthropist, avid boater and flier, and former U.S. Marine, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 83.
“I feel that what’s also special about this event is that we have an opportunity to remember somebody who was so important to Marco Island and to the community,” said Watt.She said organizing the event is challenging and she praised the efforts of Hilary Noyes, MIA’s director of events, Katrina Aurelio, the school’s development coordinator and Coleen Hodsdon of Ameriprise, who is McCreanor’s daughter and the mother of two MIA graduates.
W. Scott Rinehart and his company are past shootout sponsors and solid MIA backers.
“The reason I sponsored the event is we are proud supporters of the academy and whatever they’re doing, we going to be involved in a fundraising capacity,” he said. “I support the academy because it’s all for the kids. It’s amazing what they’ve accomplished when you consider what we’re working with and when you consider the accomplishments of these kids, it’s just unbelievable.”