Longboat’s best-tasting ticket to fun, community support

Michael Garey is driven to make the charitable event a major success on every level.

Editor & Publisher

The Longboat Key Gourmet Lawn Party is an event that has captured not only the gourmet palates of the hundreds and hundreds of annual diners and event attendees, but the heart of every Kiwanis Club member and organizer who has been involved over the past several years.

This year, anyone who knows Lazy Lobster owner Michael Garey will tell you that he has taken his considerable passion and drive that normally is infused in his own restaurant and has placed it squarely behind one of the largest fundraising efforts that supports the annual charitable event.

Garey is responsible for selling the limited 500 raffle tickets at $100 each. These tickets raise $50,000 for the Kiwanis Club, of which $20,000 is given away at the event in the form of the grand prize. To date, Garey has sold more than 350 tickets and is asking Longboat Key residents to support the event, which between the raffle, sponsors and ticket sales will raise up to $70,000 to award student scholarships and for local children’s charities.

The entire event is organized by the Longboat Key Kiwanis Club, and last year’s event raised over $50,000 and this year the organization is shooting even higher.

The Lawn Party itself will feature 30 restaurants from the region that will serve samples of their dishes as well as drinks and of course there will be live entertainment.

The Lawn Party will take place this year on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. on the Islandside driving range at the Longboat Key Club. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate. Tickets can be bought online at www.lbklawnparty.org or at the following locations on Longboat Key: the Mobil station, SunTrust Bank, Ace Hardware, Lazy Lobster Restaurant and the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce. They can also be purchased at Edward Jones and Lynches Pub and Grub on St. Armands Circle.

According to the Kiwanis Club, ticket sales are going very well, with only 150 general admission tickets remaining. Garey hopes to sell most of the remaining raffle tickets this week at the Lazy Lobster where he is now giving back a $15 gift certificate in return for every raffle ticket purchased. The $100 raffle ticket is tax deductible and will provide scholarship assistance to over 35 deserving local students.

In addition to the $20,000 grand prize, any one of the 500 raffle ticket holders can also win “A Year of Delicious Dining,” which consists of up to 50 gift cards from Sarasota and Manatee County’s finest restaurants, or three other prizes.

Garey urges anyone who wants to support local area students and the effort of the Longboat Key Kiwanis Club to stop by the Lazy Lobster and pick up one of the remaining tickets.

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