A limited number of vehicle spaces remain for the “Ding” Darling 75th Anniversary Gala on Dec. 1, 2020, hosted by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS). The event features a 1940s drive-in theater format with live music and a program projected onto an oversized screen with audio broadcast to the cars.  “Car hops,” wearing masks and other protective gear, will deliver food and drinks to guests.

Tickets are currently on sale online. Space is limited to 70 cars, but there is no limit as to how many people can occupy each vehicle. To learn more about the Refuge 75th Anniversary Celebration & Gala and buying tickets, visit ding75.org.

“Dec. 1 will be an extraordinary celebration to remember a momentous occasion and to look forward with optimism to the refuge’s future,” said DDWS executive director Birgie Miller. “We are so thankful to our sponsors for helping us to bring a silver lining to this year’s event challenges.”

To join in the memory-making by becoming a sponsor, email development officer April Boehnen at [email protected] or call her at 239-472-1100 ext. 4. All profits benefit the wildlife, education, and conservation mission of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.

“I feel like I have been with the refuge the full 75 years, and while that is not the case, my heart always has been and continues to be with ‘Ding’ Darling and what it does for the community in protecting our wildlife and educating our future conservation stewards,” said Jim Sprankle, emeritus board member and Call of the Wild sponsor with his wife, Patty. “Patty and I are honored to be a part of this important milestone for the refuge.”

The following businesses and individuals generously sponsor this event to benefit the refuge. Call of the Wild Sponsor: Jim & Patty Sprankle; Champion Sponsors: Bank of the Islands, Jim & Liz Birmingham, Todd & Barbara Bluedorn, Wayne & Linda Boyd, Boomer Duvin & Family, John & Kathy McCabe, Hank & Linda Spire; Guardian Sponsors: Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, Margie Furniss & Ed Kfoury, Bill & Laurie Harkey, Bill & Diane Valerian, Willow the Whippet; Protector Sponsors: Barefoot Charley’s Painting Co. LLC, Island Sun, Tiffani Kaliko & John Silvia, William & Barbara Millar, Mitchell’s SandCastles, Greg & Linda Scherer, Ron E. & Josephine Smith; Defender Sponsors: Mike & Terry Baldwin, The Community House, The Gresham Family, Paul Harmon, Kiwanis Club of Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Sanibel Carts, Sanibel Moorings. Music provided by: Band Source Productions, Inc. and Z Street Speakeasy Band.



As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits.

To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Miller at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or [email protected].