Funds & Expectations Raised for Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Photo/text by Renee Burrell
Holding stuffed animals of Winter the dolphin who is the Aquarium's celebrity in residence, and showing off artwork created by otter, Sunset Sam, are (l to r): Barbara Bell, Jody Armstrong, Mary Blackmon, who donated the print, LuAnn Mulvaney, who purchased the print, and Betty Budd
CLEARWATER - Over $1,700.00 was raised Friday for the non profit Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) at the Belleview Biltmore Resort's First Friday charity event.
CMA held raffle drawings, delighting winners with guest admission tickets to the Aquarium, special behind the scenes tours, narrated boat rides and stuffed animals. The toys depict Winter, the dolphin who lost her tail from a crab trap and captured the world's heart.
Winter was brought to CMA for rehabilitation in December, 2005 and has since brought international attention to CMA. Globally reported was CMA's partnership with Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc. to develop a prosthetic tail and train Winter to swim normally.
Locally, the community is anxiously waiting for the Aquarium's reopening after renovations to their facility at 249 Windward Passage are completed. CMA closed on January 7, 2008 and is expected to open its doors again sometime this month. However, CMA's popular Sea Life Safari Eco-Boat Tours continue to run at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. from Clearwater Marina slip #58. (Call 727-462-2628 for reservations)
All funding for the Aquarium is accomplished through guest admissions, private events, fundraisers, summer camp programs, grants, gift sales and private donations.
On their website, CMA encourages everyone to, "Be a 'Wildlife Warrior'! Our commitment is to stand on guard for all marine life, and to proactively educate people in all countries about these issues. Just like Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, we work so that humans and animals can co-exist, and even more so, enjoy each other. If you agree and want to assist us in this work, so animals like Winter are not injured, then join with us. By adopting one of our animals, becoming a member, or donating to this work, you become an active partner in our work, no matter where you live."
To make a donation, or to learn more about CMA's mission and Winter's story of survival, go to: cmaquarium.org or www.seewinter.com
The CMA administrative offices are remaining open during construction. For information, phone (727) 441-1790 ext. 222.
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