BY SUE ERWIN – The Boca Grande Historical Society elected four new directors at its annual meeting on Thursday, April 19. President Karen Grace was accepted a nomination for a second three-year term. New board members elected that day were: Melissa Csank, Henry Elwood, Pamela Heilman and Charles Stark.
Treasurer Marty McFadden gave a financial update for the organization.
“From a revenue standpoint, we’ve met or exceeded our budget on all major revenue categories,” McFadden said. “At the same time, our major expenses were in target with the budget and the non-major ones were actually less than budgeted.”
Grace said that membership has gone up.
“Last year at this time we had 311 members, and we’ve added 70 new ones to that brings us to 371. It’s our biggest annual increase in history.”
Grace added that she believes the organizations is unique to the community in that the mission is not only to preserve island history but also to share it and make is easily accessible to the community in the future.
“Before the year is through we should have some archives available on our website,” Grace said.
The organization will feature a new railroad exhibit next year.
“The railroad is a significant part of our history and it really made us an industrialized island,” Grace said.
Board member Capt. Sandy Melvin said the historical society will be a partner in the Gasparilla Island Kids Classic Tarpon Tournament this year.
“We’ll be hosting a tarpon symposium on Friday evening, June 1 at the Boca Grande Community Center,” Melvin said. Dr. Aaron Adams with Bonefish Tarpon Trust will discuss the science of tarpon and why they come to Boca Grande, and Nat Italiano and Betsy Joiner will talk about the history of Boca Grande tarpon fishing.
The presentation will be followed by a traditional southwest Florida mullet fish fry with live entertainment. Everyone is welcome to this free event that will take place at the Boca Grande Community Center. Proceeds from Friday evening (June 1) will benefit the Boca Grande Historical Society.
New volunteers are always welcome.
For more information, visit bocagrandehistoricalsociety.com.