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1. MIHS invites public to help bring home the cat by joining ‘Team Key Marco Cat’

The Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) is on a quest to bring home the cat — the world famous Key Marco Cat — discovered on Marco Island in 1896 by Smithsonian anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing.

Nearly half of a $350,000 fund-raising goal has been raised to underwrite the costs to bring home on loan the Key Marco Cat and other rare Pre-Columbian Native American artifacts discovered by Cushing.

Several of the most significant artifacts will be brought together again on Marco Island for the first time in more than 100 years for an exhibit at the Marco Island Historical Museum (MIHM) that will run from December 2018 to April 2021. The Smithsonian Institution and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology are loaning the rare artifacts.

Now, the public is invited to participate in bringing home the precious feline by joining “Team Key Marco Cat,” and making a donation. While all donations are welcome, those donating $500 or more will receive a special Key Marco Cat baseball cap, and their names will be included in a recognition plaque at the museum. 

“This truly is the year of the cat,” notes MIHS Executive Director Patricia Rutledge. “We want the whole community to have an opportunity to participate in this exciting time in the history of Marco Island and Southwest Florida.”

For information on how you can support the return of the Key Marco artifacts, call 239-389-6447 or visit www.theMIHS.org.

2. Scholarships available from the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts

Each spring the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts(MIFA) awards scholarships to high school seniors and college students who will be majoring in an area of the arts, including visual art, performance, or literature.

Perhaps you know of a hardworking student on Marco Island, the Isle of Capri or Goodland who wants to major in music, art, movie making, theater, dance, photography, or literature? Direct them to our website, www.marcoarts.org for more information and the application for seeking a scholarship.  Scholarship applications must be received no later than April 30. 

For more information, students or parents are welcome to call 239-389-0280.

3. Record breaking 2018 ‘Magic Under the Mangroves’ raises $1.9 million net for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida raised a record $1.9 million net at the 14th annual Magic Under the Mangroves gala and auction, providing key funding that directly enhances the Conservancy’s mission of protecting Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife and future.

The four-hour eco-chic event held March 8 at the Conservancy’s Nature Center featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a seated dinner by award-winning, certified green caterer Windows Catering, of Washington D.C.  Led by chef Henry Dinardo, the team traveled to Naples exclusively for Magic Under the Mangroves gala.

“Henry and I made Naples our winter home in large part because of the area’s natural beauty,” said Carol Dinardo, Chair of Magic Under the Mangroves and Conservancy of Southwest Florida board member. “When we learned about the Conservancy’s mission to protect the region’s water, land, wildlife and future, getting involved was a natural fit for us.” 

“On behalf of the entire team, our supporters, sponsors, board of directors, staff and volunteers, I am blown away by the generosity in support of our mission,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “The funds raised will enable our devoted teams of researchers, biologists, educators, policy specialists, wildlife rehabilitation specialists and interns to advance our mission of protecting Southwest Florida’s natural environment.”

To learn more, visit www.Conservancy.org/magc.

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