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Surf and Song Festival returns: Pre-Surf-and-Song benefit concert kicks off at The Nauti Turtle Sunday

September 1, 2011
By MELISSA SCHNEIDER - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin

Kicking off the season for our local Surf and Song Foundation's musical benefits, a pre-concert benefit show will take place the day before Labor Day, Sunday, Sept. 4, at the Nauti Turtle, 19001 San Carlos Blvd.

"The Nauti Turtle has a been helping us promote our upcoming concert so much, we wanted to help promote their great new business," said Mike Von Plinsky, a coordinator of the festival, and organizer of the foundation. "They've done such a great job with the renoviations, it was the perfect place for our kick-off benefit."

Music will flow from The Turtle all day, beginning at 3 p.m. going until 10 p.m., featuring live and local bands inside and outside, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the group's flagship charity, the "Navigating Autism" program?at the Southwest Florida Children's Hospital.

Article Photos

Last year, the all-day Surf and Song Festival hosted more than 100 bands on 10 stages, performing to 10,000 people – all to raise funds for the “Navigating Autism” program at the Southwest Florida Children’s Hospital. To kick off this year’s two-day festival, a pre-party benefit will be held at the Nauti Turtle, Sunday, Sept. 4, from 3 to 10 p.m., with live music all day, raffles, drink specials and more. Photo courtesy MIKE VON PLINSKY.

"I am so proud to say that all of the money we raise for the Navigating Autism program stays local the more money we make, the more staff the program can hire to help our kids it's a direct impact on our local environment, local lives, so donors can see the effect of their donation," Mike said. "This is a brand new program that started this year, solely from our donations at the Surf and Song Foundation. We're really proud of that."

Last year's big event was a full day of more than 100 bands and more than 10,000 people attending to help raise funds for the charity.

"This year, we're expanding the official concert to two full days," Mike said.

Fact Box

Surf and Song kick-off

AT THE NAUTI TURTLE, 19001 San Carlos Blvd.

What: Benefit show for Navigating Autism program

When: Saturday, Sept. 4, 3 to 10 p.m.

Bands: Wallow Sound, No Way Jose, The

George Lewis Project, The Troublemakerz,

The New Vinyls, Ghost Radio and more

During the pre-concert fund-raiser at the Nauti Turtle Sunday, you'll hear the music of great local groups Wallow Sound, No Way Jose, The George Lewis Project, The TroubleMakerz, The New Vinyls and Ghost Radio, along with other great groups not yet officially confirmed.

Also during the benefit, plenty of wonderful, donated prizes will be raffled off, along with other fun for the whole family.

"We have so many wonderful prizes to raffle off during the benefit, all donated by great local businesses," Mike said.

Some prizes include prize packs for certain regions of Southwest Florida. For instance, a raffle-prize winner may receive a package with a two-night stay at the Island Inn on Sanibel, along with gift certificates to great Sanibel restaurants and other island adventures.

"That way, winners can make a little vacation out of it," Mike said.

Other packaged prizes include resorts, hotels and hot spots in the Fort Myers Bell Tower region and Fort Myers Beach, along with plenty of other wonderful singular prizes being raffled off, too.

"We have a six-hour limo ride, dinners, lunches, beautiful art, a nice, nice selection of items being raffled off," Mike said.

Raffles will be held at 6 and 9 p.m. and winners need not be present to win. Just be sure to include your name and phone number on the back of your ticket.

As for parking, don't worry. Mike says there will be plenty of it. For boaters especially over the Labor Day weekend, take out that aquatic pride and joy and dock for free at the Nauti Turtle.

For those of you land-lubbers taking the paved way, free valet parking will be available in front of the restaurant, and Mike says there is an immense parking lot behind the Goodwill plaza, where a shuttle will cart benefit-goers back and forth for those who don't want to make the brief walk.

And, throughout the day Sunday, the Nauti Turtle will donate proceeds of each and every drink sold. As a bonus, since the Surf and Song Foundation is officially a not-for-profit group, all donations may be written off as a tax deduction.

"So, come off the beach or come down to the Beach and join us," Mike said. "There's plenty of free valet parking in the front and boat parking in the back. The bay will be rockin' at The Nauti Turtle! The day before a holiday, there's no excuse to party and help the kids."

To donate an item for the raffle, call Mike at 896-2847 or email For further information on the festival, visit

Foundation Chairman, Fritz Caraher, wants to thank all of the festival sponsors for their generous support: Beasley Broadcasting, Gulf Shore Events, The Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, KSA Audio, Crowne Plaza Hotel at The Bell Tower Shoppes, The Island Sand Paper, Print Shop Ink, Arthur Murray Dance Studios, AutoDriveFL, H&H Limos and the Island Inn on Sanibel. "Also, many thanks to the numerous businesses that have donated items for our raffle!"

About The Surf and Song Foundation

The "Surf and Song Festival" is an annual charity event that is supported by musicians, artists and businesses for the enjoyment of our community and to raise funds and awareness for a range of charities.

The group's flagship charity is the Lee Memorial Health System's Southwest Florida Children's Hospital and its "Navigating Autism" program.

"We strive to continue to demonstrate, be it one person or 100, we can all make a positive difference where we live and with those among us!"

Past bands to participate in the festivals include 10,000 Views, Backlash, Blackwater, the Bad Banditos, Chicago Mob, Cinder, Danny Shephard, DVS, Four Bones, Geek Skwad, Marty Stokes and the Captiva Band, The Oysters, The New Vinyls, Smack Daddy, Soap Box and Strange Arrangement.

This year's main festival will span over two days, Jan. 20 to 22, 2012, featuring some of the best live and local acts around town.

This year, the group has officially become the Surf and Song Foundation, a non-profit organization under which members conduct all of the fund-raising efforts.

"This year will be our largest and most ambitious festival to date, expanding to two full days of music, art, food, vendors and family fun," said Fritz Caraher, Surf and Song Foundation president and chairman of the board. "We will continue our tradition of helping raise awareness for all non-profit and charitable organizations in our community. Our goal will always be to help as many people as possible through our local music and arts, as well as continually expand to a national stage, bringing help to as many of the less fortunate in Southwest Florida as we can."



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