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Wonder Gardens announces 2023 Enchanted Gala: Whiskers on the River

Wonder Gardens otter

Otter in the grass

The 7th Annual Enchanted Gala, “Whiskers on the River,” is planned for Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. at the Wonder Gardens. Guests will enjoy the beautifully lit garden, interact with ambassador animals and exhibits, enjoy a fantastic meal, hear an engaging program about the Wonder Gardens while bidding on exciting experiences and unique items to support the development of the Wonder Gardens.

In addition, Executive Director Neil Anderson will unveil conceptual drawings and initial plans for the future of the Wonder Gardens which includes a new otter habitat to be built in 2023.

“We can’t wait to share some of the plans that have been developed behind the scenes in cooperation with the city of Bonita Springs as we begin to introduce our masterplan for development of the gardens and new animal exhibits including the otter grotto,” said Neil Anderson, Wonder Gardens executive director. “The goal is to keep create enhancements that showcase the Wonder Gardens as an oasis of Old Florida, while developing new exciting exhibits, continuing top-notch guest experiences and achieving zoological accreditation.”

The Wonder Gardens does not receive taxpayer funding or support. Improvements, maintenance, staff and animal care are paid for by admissions, memberships, giftshop sales, fundraisers and donations.

Tickets are $350, with patron tickets $425, including a private patron party Feb. 9. Sponsors to date include Presenting Sponsor Billy the Bee Foundation; Peacock and Patron Party Sponsor FineMark National Bank & Trust; Parrot Sponsors Kim and Tom Becket, Bill and Anne Marie Blatt, Bonita Boarding Kennel and Pet Camp, Donna M. Flammang, Brennan Manna Diamond, Diane and Doug Ewing, Keith Hynes and Lena Neal, Dr. Judith and Dr. James MacGregor; Specialty Craft Cocktail Sponsor Chartreuse; Media Sponsor Presstige Printing; Event Photographer Sponsor Jacke McCurdy; and Guest Photo Sponsor Marjorie Rubacky. For additional sponsorship opportunities, please contact Development Manager Kevin Miller at kevin@wondergardens.org or 239-290-3673.

Members of the Enchanted committee include Kim Beckett, Linda Gutshall, Sally Hebeisen, Candice Kelber, Natascha Kay, Jacke McCurdy, Nancy Soldi Peckham and Marjorie Rubacky.

For information on the event and to purchase tickets, visit wondergardens.org/enchanted.

About Wonder Gardens

The Wonder Gardens, a charitable zoological park and botanical garden in Bonita Springs, is home to rescued birds and reptiles nestled among sprawling banyan trees and plantings. While preserving the best of this site’s 86-year history, the nonprofit cares for rescued, rehabilitated, and non-releasable animals, is upgrading wildlife enclosures and growing the botanical beauty of the property, while delivering education programs and events and further engaging the community to enjoy this jewel in historic Downtown Bonita Springs. The Wonder Gardens at 27180 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs is one of the few remaining cornerstones of Old Florida, an enduring symbol of the history of the region, as well as a resource for learning about the environment and wildlife. For information, visit wondergardens.org or call 239-992-2591.

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