Octifest on the Beach, Sanibel Sea School’s annual ocean celebration and fundraiser, will once again be held bayside on Causeway Island A. The event will take place on Sunday, March 11th at 6:30 PM, and will support the many outreach programs offered by the nonprofit organization, including scholarships for local children to attend ocean summer camps and day programs.
“There is a remarkable need for high-quality experiential ocean education in our region,” said Dr. Bruce Neill, executive director and co-founder of the organization. “Each year, we receive many scholarship requests from teachers and individuals who want to give their children a meaningful learning opportunity. We hold Octifest to ensure that we can always say yes.” Sanibel Sea School provided more than 2,000 scholarships in 2017, and has never allowed financial circumstances to prevent a student from participating.
Over the past decade, Sanibel Sea School has forged strong partnerships with fellow non-profits including the Heights Foundation, Pine Manor Improvement Association, Gladiolus Center for Learning and Development, and the PACE Center for Girls, bringing hundreds of at-risk kids to experience Sanibel’s waters each year. They also work with numerous schools in Lee and Hendry Counties. “We call these our landlocked kids,” said Neill. “They live near the coast, but many have never set foot on the beach. Showing these kids a jellyfish or teaching them to surf for the first time is an incredible thing. It opens their minds, helps them build confidence, and enhances their classroom success.”
It is thanks to support from the local community that Sanibel Sea School is able to provide these outreach programs, which are funded by donors. Octifest is the single largest source of funds for the organization each year. “We hope you will join us for sunset views, a delicious and sustainable meal, and a few opportunities to support a very good cause,” said Neill.
Sanibel Sea School is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. To learn more about Octifest or to purchase tickets, visit octifest.org or call 239-472-8585.