Anonymous Donor Bids Big

If you missed the big Ding Darling fundraiser event last week, you may not know that an anonymous bidder paid $60,000 for a carving of a mangrove cuckoo by Sculptor Jim Sprankle.

Sculptor Jim Sprankle throws his hands up in wonderment as DDWS Executive Director Birgie Vertesch announces that an anonymous donor won the live auction for his carving with a $60,000 bid at last Friday’s inaugural Cuckoo for “Ding” Trailgate Party at the Refuge.

A sell-out crowd of more than 270 attendees was at the Cuckoo for “Ding” Trailgate Party for the live auction, live music and food at the February 15th event.

The back-story, previously posted on our blog, is that the carving was created by Sprankle to lure illusive mangrove cuckoos to the Refuge. The project was a success in the wild. Rather than just put the carving away in a box somewhere the Ding Darling Wildlife Society had Sprankle clean it up and turn it into a “work of decorative art.” It was then offered at the live auction where it generated $60,000 of the nearly $100,000 raised at the event.

And here’s the extra twist: The winning bidder asked that the mangrove cuckoo carving remain at the “Ding” Darling Education Center for public viewing. Now you can visit the Refuge yourself and see a $60,000 mangrove cuckoo in person!

On Sanibel we do love our wildlife refuge, don’t we? And we show it regularly. Why don’t you plan to visit? You can book a room for your island stay right now at Gulf Breeze Cottages.