Night at the Nest XI reaches historic fundraising level for FGCU Athletics

FORT MYERS, Florida. – In recognition of the support of FGCU Athletics alumni, donors, friends and sponsors, the 11th annual Night at the Nest, the department’s premier fundraising event, set a new record of $716,000 in net revenue . All net profits directly support Eagles scholarship needs.

The gala, held on December 3, sold out for the fifth consecutive year, not counting when the event was forced to be held virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was our best night in the nest and we are so grateful for the incredible support of FGCU Athletics by the Southwest Florida community,” Assistant Athletic Director for Advancement Graham Diemer noted. “The impact of our sponsors, attendees, auction item donors, bidders and volunteers is nothing short of amazing. The success of N@N continues to have a huge positive effect on the opportunities and experiences we are able to to provide our wonderful student-athletes.”

The total revenue generated for this year’s Night in the Nest surpassed the previous record set in 2019 of $675,000 (last year’s virtual auction generated $448,000). Since the inaugural event, held in 2010, and largely through the generosity of Southwest Florida businesses and individuals, Night at the Nest has now generated over $5 million in total.

Around 300 live and silent auction items fetched nearly $535,000, backed by online auctions available for those who weren’t in attendance. In addition to auction items, the event generated $95,450 in donations, $91,200 in admission revenue and $83,500 in sponsorship revenue.

“Our success has once again been greatly enhanced by our President, Dr. Bob ‘Doc’ Ryan, and the Eagles Club Advisory Board,” Diemer said. “We are able to continually raise the bar through the continued collective commitment to make this a top notch and successful fundraiser.”

Night at the Nest has grown annually from 300 attendees at that inaugural gala in 2010 to its capacity of 800 since 2018.

“We are very grateful for the continued outstanding leadership provided by Doc Ryan, Graham Diemer and Matt Ring, and all the people inside and outside who have been involved in making Night at the Nest another phenomenal success from a friend and fundraising perspective,” said director of athletics Ken Kavanagh. “In addition to the record amount of resources, it was truly a wonderful evening for all who celebrate green and blue. In return, we are deeply grateful to everyone who has supported us and continues to support us as we seek daily to provide a better experience for our student-athletes.”

Dr. Ryan, from Bonita Bay, who is the DA assistant for special events, was again the chairman of Night at the Nest. The Eagles Club Advisory Board, the official booster club organization of FGCU Athletics, as well as FGCU administrators, staff, coaches and student-athletes all play a vital role in the organization, promotion and contribution to the overall operation.

“It’s always a very special event and it’s amazing how it has grown over the years with a really generous local community that has embraced FGCU,” said Dr Ryan. “It’s fantastic to see these friends and family members from Southwest Florida, who have embraced the FGCU as their own, make such significant contributions. Each year, these proceeds are used to reward student-athletes with scholarships and it’s a lifelong impact for these people. . I thank everyone who participated in the event and look forward to another successful evening at The Nest on December 2nd.”

Additionally, Lois Thome – one of Southwest Florida’s most well-known media personalities as co-anchor of the 5, 6 and 7 p.m. WINK News shows – once again served as terrific as the master of ceremonies, as was longtime local celebrity Jay Severson as the record auctioneer.


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