Marsha Warnike wears a mane of multi-hued plumes. The Upon a Star Foundation held their seventh "Talk Derby to Me" fundraiser Saturday at the Marco Island Brewery, partnering for the first time with the Marco Island Academy. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
The Marco Island Brewery was packed Saturday afternoon for “Talk Derby to Me,” with enough extravagant hats to make it difficult to see around the restaurant, let alone move around freely. The occasion was the annual fundraiser for Marco’s Upon A Star Foundation, their seventh year holding the Kentucky Derby-themed party.
This year, “Talk Derby” featured a new wrinkle, with two causes for the price of one. Proceeds from the afternoon were split between Upon A Star and the Marco Island Academy, the island’s new charter high school. Adding the school’s backers and fund-raising prowess to the established local Upon A Star, which helps local children and families in need, generated a daily double of giving, making all involved winners, regardless of what happened up at that horse race. With 260 attending, the event raised over $40,000 for the two local groups.