I’m guilty of sometimes assuming everyone is aware of the same things I’m aware of.

Case-in-point, I had someone recently ask me, “What is the Manasota Mystique?”

My first reaction was one of astonishment as I thought to myself, “How could anyone, who lives in our community, not know about the Manasota Mystique?”

My inner intelligence then took over, and I was reminded of several things. First, we live in a community where people come and go. On any given day, new people are permanently moving to our area or finding us for their first season. Second, our community is blessed with a large number of creative charitable people who are constantly creating and hosting fundraising events. And third, not everyone pays attention to what the chamber is doing.

So, here’s a brief introduction to the Manasota Mystique. On Saturday, approximately 250 people, who are all passionate about Englewood, will gather at the Manasota Beach Club, on Manasota Key. This is the seventh year for this annual event. Many in attendance have done so for the past six years, while many others will be attending for the first time. The attendees will be experiencing great food that has been prepared by Farlow’s on the Water and the Lock ‘n Key, a live band and the opportunity to bid on more than 50 auction items that have been supplied by scores of local businesses … and more.

Those gathered will include a Who’s Who of Englewood, along with a number of other community citizens who are just looking for a nice night out. The theme to this year’s event is “The Manasota Mystique Cruise Aboard the High Roller of the 7 Seas.” Attendees will arrive in a wide variety of cruising attire.

This yearly event would not be possible if not for the generous support of the our sponsors, Englewood Community Hospital, Innovative Marine Structures, Key Agency, Lightspeed Voice, Reflections in Gold, Michael Saunders & Company, Ron Smith State Farm Insurance, Gasparilla Vacations, Phillips Landscape Contractors, Abel’s Marine, Billy Kimberlin Roofing, Centennial Bank, Center for Sight, the Farr Law Firm, Xpertech Auto Repair, Weston’s wannaB Inn and The Windsor of Venice.

Through the years, the Manasota Mystique has distributed more than $70,000 to local charities. The benefactors of this year’s affair are Let’s Help! Englewood and scholarships to two higher-education bound Lemon Bay High School graduating seniors.

Back by popular demand is the Chance Drawing Vacation Give-A-Way. The holder of the winning ticket will have the opportunity to cruise with Royal Caribbean on a 6-8-day cruise to most anywhere in the world the cruise line travels. The drawing will take place at approximately 9 p.m., and the winner does not need to be present to win. The chance tickets are available up until 5 p.m. Thursday, online at www.ManasotaMystique.com until the 350 tickets are sold out. There is a suggested donation of $50.

Ed Hill is executive director of the Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at ed.hill@englewoodchamber.com or 941-474-5511.


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