Ding Darling Annual Fundraiser Date Set


The 2023 major fundraising event for the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel is Go Bully for “Ding” – An Evening with Teddy Roosevelt. The event will be held March 6th and due to the recovery efforts on Sanibel, the venue will be Broadway Palms in Fort Myers.

In consideration of the hardships many island residents and business owners have suffered since the hurricane in September, DDWS has lowered the price of reservations to $75 per person this year.

All profits will support the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, this year specifically its hurricane recovery efforts.

The evening’s entertainment features popular refuge personality and Teddy Roosevelt reprisor Joe Wiegand. He has been bringing President Roosevelt to life for more than a decade and has performed in all 50 states and overseas, including a White House performance in honor of Roosevelt’s 150th birthday in 2008. He has made numerous appearances at “Ding” Darling, one of his favorite venues.

Formerly a veteran political consultant and elected public servant in his native Illinois, Wiegand is a political science graduate of the University of the South – Sewanee in Sewanee, Tenn.; a former graduate assistant at Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies; and a Harry S. Truman Scholar and Thomas Watson, Jr., Fellow.

The evening will include his entertaining performance and audience interactions, dinner, drinks, and a live auction. A limited number of reservations, available on a first-come basis, will go live starting Wednesday, January 11, at 8 a.m.

“We hope that, despite the trials of the past months, our friends will be able to join us for this delightful evening aimed to bring the refuge back to its post-hurricane glory as a wildlife haven and sanctuary for the soul,” said Birgie Miller, DDWS executive director. “The refuge needs your help more than ever right now. We are also accepting sponsorships for the event to further benefit ‘Ding’ Darling.”

Visit gowildfording.com to learn more about the event.