The Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation is proud to announce the formal signing of a 50-year lease for the use of 7,500 square feet of the beautiful new conference center at the Islander Resort, to create a museum and discovery center. The Islander is located at MM82.1 ocean side.

1404860_406412132818986_1601673770_oThe contract was signed by Foundation President Rich Russell and Islander owner David Curry (seated). Standing behind them (l to r) are Directors Dr. Kinzy Jones and Dick Saylor, Foundation Curator and Historian Brad Bertelli and Directors George Hertel and Phyllis Mitchell. Absent from the photo were Directors Frank Hawkins, Cale Smith, Henry Rosenthal and Buddy Pinder.

Foundation President Russell said, “This is an historic moment for our community. Thanks to the vision and generosity of David Curry and the Islander, we now have a amazing facility that will enable us to create a world class museum and discovery center to preserve and celebrate the rich history of the Florida Keys.”

Director George Hertel said, “The Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation is now well on its way to realizing the dream that so many have had to create a facility that will appeal to students, residents and visitors to the Keys. We have access to volumes of rich historical material and highly creative people who will help us bring that history alive in ways that will both thrill and educate. We are excited by the encouragement and support given us by Historian Jerry Wilkinson and our new curator, Brad Bertelli. We also are getting good support from members of the Historical Preservation Society of the Upper Keys. In the next few months, we will have a series of exciting announcements that will show our progress.”

David Curry, owner of The Islander, said, “I have long believed that the Upper Keys community would benefit from a facility that would entertain and inform people about the history of the Florida Keys. It’s a pleasure working with the members of the foundation who are working so hard to make this happen.”

About the Islander: The perfect Florida Keys vacation getaway and sport fishing destination, the Islander Resort, is ideal for vacationing with friends and family, as well as the perfect spot for a wedding, a romantic getaway and even a business meeting. Islamorada gives you the best in boating, fishing, diving and dining. The resort brings you the best lounging and living the Florida Keys has to offer and features two waterfront resorts that offer you the choice of sunrise or sunset, oceanfront or bayside views. The Conference Center is the site for the Discovery Center and Theater. The Discovery Center will include a state-of-the-art 40-seat theater and exhibit space totaling 7,500 square feet.

With breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, the facility is a paradise for midsize meetings, offering a unique oceanfront venue for luxury weddings, private receptions and corporate events designed for those seeking refuge from the ordinary.

About the Foundation:  The Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation was formed in 2013 as a non-profit entity for the purpose of developing and operating the Florida Keys History and Discovery Center and Theatre.

The geographic emphasis will be on the Upper Keys, but will encompass other areas as needed to tell the stories in a way that will preserve that history in a meaningful, entertaining and educational manner. The Discovery Center will be interesting and appealing to local residents, school groups from Monroe County and Miami Dade counties and beyond, tourists; adults, families, and scholars interested in indigenous culture of the area. The Foundation Board is working with museum professionals in the community and beyond to develop and create the activities of the Discovery Center.

The Foundation Board and committees are composed of members of the community who have demonstrated an interest in preserving the history of the Upper Keys and linking that history to the overall history, geography and experience of the total Florida Keys to further appreciation for our island chain.   The exempt educational purpose of the Foundation is furthered by the development and maintenance of a world-class Discovery Center that accurately reflects the history of the Florida Keys community in a multi-faceted and interactive environment.

The development and operation of the Discover Center is a major activity of the Foundation.  The Foundation will be funded by a combination of grants, governmental allocations, contributions from the general public, membership fees, program fees, sales of related merchandise and other activities related to its exempt function.

For more information,

Contact: Rich Russell 305 522-0948, George Hertel 305 393-1303, Frank Hawkins 305 451-1888