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Tickets for ‘Night at the Museum’ fundraiser now on sale

May 8, 2014
By CHUCK?BALLARO ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Tickets are on sale now for the second annual Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library "Night at the Museum" event to be held on Saturday, May 31, beginning at 6 p.m.

The museum, at 4820 Leonard St. will feature the unveiling of a new exhibit to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, which took place on June 6, 1944.

The event has become the big fundraiser for the museum, said museum founder Ralph Santillo.

"It's our annual dinner party with guest speakers. It's a night we show people around the museum and will unveil the display on the D-Day landing," Santillo said.

The display will be open to the guests at the dinner, and open to the public on June 6.

Lt. Col. John Kloecer, an active duty officer of 20 years, will be the guest speaker, and State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto and congressional candidate Curt Clawson have been invited to attend, along with Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki and the city council.

Last year's speaker, former mayor John Sullivan, is expected to attend.

The event will begin with uniformed veterans standing by the exhibits, usually the ones from the wars in which they fought, and people can talk to the veterans about them and "get an idea of what the museum is about if they haven't been here before," Santillo said.

The museum's Dixieland dirt band will be there to play patriotic music, and there will be a souvenir program.

Last year's event raised nearly $10,000, with this year expected to be about the same, Santillo said.

Tickets are $75 with corporate sponsorship for a table of eight being $1,000. United Health Care and Re/MAX are corporate sponsors this year, which will get special recognition.

"We're shooting for selling 125 tickets. We don't want to be too crowded and we'd like to be able to let people walk around and talk to the veterans," Santillo said.

Santillo also announced the launch of a new Website next week.

"We're hoping the community will support us and come. We don't ask for much except for that," Santillo said.

For more information, call the museum at 887-1639 or 910-5699.



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