Monday, December 6, 2021

Middle School Fundraiser with Ben Allen Band Sells Out, Sets Records

Photos by Scott H. Shook | The Ben Allen Band.


MICMS student Tam Vu tickles the ivories.

With the help of local country star Ben Allen, whose recent performance on The Voice captured the attention of Southwest Florida, the Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) Boots and Blues Fundraiser was a sellout and set records. The event, held Friday March 26 at the JW Marriott, was attend by 340 people.

“Oh my gosh, it was unbelievable,” said Maria Hayden, the event’s co-chair along with Deborah Hobbs. “It’s rough numbers, but so far it looks like we net out at about $68,000. That’s a record for us. This is the best ever. I’ve been working here for 18 years and this is the best outcome, in terms of number of people and amount of money made. I’m so excited. I’m super-thrilled.”

Charter Middle School principal, Michele Wheeler, was equally excited.

“Our Boots and Blues event was a marvelous success,” Wheeler said. “We truly appreciate the generosity and continued support from our MICMS families, staff, school board members, and community. The generous support and partnerships created will enable our school to continue providing the top-notch education MICMS is known for.” 

There is no doubt that the Ben Allen Band put the event over the top. Allen was a top nine finalist on Season 19 of The Voice. The dance floor was filled for much of the evening.



“It made a difference, obviously, having the band,” Hayden said. “We had, I’d say, 75 people there we didn’t even recognize. They bought their tickets through the website. That helped tremendously.”

Allen and Debbie Hobbs enjoy the middle school jazz band.

Allen was flattered.

“We were proud to be able to help add to the fun,” Ben Allen said. “And to bring in a few extra people to such a worthy event here in the community.”

Attendees were also entertained by the MICMS jazz band and chorus group, who performed on the terrace at the opening of the event.

The event included a delicious dinner of filet mignon and shrimp, highlighted by a fantastic chocolate dessert, all prepared by the JW Marriott’s culinary team.

“The Marriott does such a great job for us,” Hayden said.

Sponsors of the event were Mark Melvin of Paradise Design Build, The Republican Club of South Collier County, Allen and Debbie Hobbs, Allyson and Jim Richards, Braun Builders, Coral Isle Golf Center, Johanna Bernhardt, Keller Williams Realty, Physicians Regional Healthcare System, Real Random, Taray International, and Sunshine Stitchers.


Jill and Arne Sandberg check out silent auction items.


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