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Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation online auction begins Thursday

Items include guitar signed by original Toto lead singer, artwork, gift cards and more

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Mar 8, 2021

These portraits by Joanne Shamp will be auctioned off as part of the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation virtual auction. / Photo provided

More than 100 items will be auctioned off beginning Thursday to help the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation continue its successful charitable programs.

Last year, the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation raised more than $60,000 through the #WeAreFMB initiative of selling shirts, hats and other items to benefit local workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with gift cards.

The foundation will be looking to replenish its reserves with a virtual auction running from this Thursday, March 11 through Saturday, March 20. The auction follows the foundation’s fashion show last month.

The auction features an electric Fender Squier Stratocaster guitar signed by the original Toto singer Bobby Kimball, gift cards and certificates for shopping excursions, massages, personal training, and original (and customer) artwork.

The auction, at https://fmbcommunityfoundation.com/virtual-auction/also features handmade jewelry items and designer items, such as handbags and sunglasses. There are mini golf tickets, boat rides and dining gift cards.

Portraits by local artist Chester Rogers will be auctioned off as part of the upcoming Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation auction/ Photo provided

The Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation will have a link to the auction on its Facebook page as well as its website at fmbcommunityfoundation.com. The bidding will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday and ends March 20 at 2 p.m.

Among the artists whose works are featured in the auction are former Town of Fort Myers Beach Councilmember Joanne Shamp, local portrait artist Chester Rogers and Naples artist Trish Henkel.

Dee Dashiell, of Fort Myers, donated the signed guitar by Kimball after learning about the #WeAreFMB initiative and the efforts by the foundation to assist those working on the island.

Kimball is known for his vocals on the Toto hits “Africa,” “Hold the Line” and “Rosanna.”

The guitar was personally signed by Kimball at an event at Treehouse at Society in Fort Myers, Dashiell said. “I hope it goes for a good amount,” Dashiell said.

This signed Fender Stratocaster by original Toto singer Bobby Kimball is among the items up for the virtual auction held by the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation beginning Thursday and running through March 20. / Photo provided

“We flew him here. He’s a great guy,” Dashiell said. Dashiell said Kimball performed along with the house band at Treehouse at Society. “He was very outgoing and energetic.”

Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation communications lead Jessica Hernstadt stated “we are hoping that people will log in and bid,” and continue to bid throughout the auction.

In an informational release, Hernstadt said “this is one of our major fundraisers this year. We use funds to further our mission to improve life for everyone in Fort Myers Beach. Projects that we fundraise for include educational programs, scholarships (for colleges, universities, trade and vocational schools, professional training), assistance for food banks, domestic violence shelters and more.” The foundation also assist the Beach Elementary School.

President Nancy Bouchard and Co-President Kelly Smith, with the help of the Board of Directors and FMBCF Members, have stepped out of the box and created fundraising opportunities where we feared there would be none due to COVID-19. We are hoping that this event will be successful and that people have fun bidding. Some of our members are holding virtual auction parties with close friends and family where they can virtually enjoy the fun of bidding at an auction in a social atmosphere,” Hernstadt said.

The Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation was recently recognized last week by the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce with its outstanding service award for its efforts this past year with the #WeAreFMB initiative.

This signed Fender Stratocaster by original Toto singer Bobby Kimball is among the items up for the virtual auction held by the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation beginning Thursday and running through March 20. / Photo provided

“We are very honored,” said Smith.

Bouchard said “people know who we are now” due to the #WeAreFMB initiative.

“We wanted the community to know we are here to support the community.”