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The Ripple Effect Campaign raises over $10K for manatees | Community Spirit

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The Ripple Effect Campaign raises over $10K for manatees
The Ripple Effect Campaign raises over $10K for manatees

Bradenton, Florida -- South Florida Museum announced Monday that more than 1,100 individuals contributed to The Ripple Effect for Manatees this year. Donations ranged from $1 to $1,012, and came from around the country. 

“We so appreciate the generosity of our community and supporters – thanks to them, we exceeded our goal and raised $10,500 to help the manatees,” said Brynne Anne Besio, South Florida Museum’s executive director. "Because of this support, we are able to feed our manatees and continue our participation in the manatee rehabilitation program. The Ripple Effect campaign has helped to increase awareness about the care we provide recovering manatees and generated funds to cover the food bill for 50 days this year.”

The campaign ran from July through October to help fund the Museum’s Manatee Care Program. Donations were made by visitors, online and through the mail.

Snooty and his pals have fans around the country including students from an elementary school in New York state who raised $50 by saving their change and a girl from Massachusetts who raised $1,012 by selling jewelry to help manatees in conjunction with her Bat Mitzvah.  

"Seeing how enthusiastic these young people are about helping is truly inspirational,” added Besio.  “Jackie Rich has been visiting her grandparents in Lakewood Ranch since she was a small child, and now that’s she’s 13, she wanted to help Snooty and the manatees.”

Very little funding from the state or federal government is available for manatee care, so this program requires significant private support. The Museum’s Parker Manatee Aquarium accounts for approximately 15 percent of the organization’s budget, or $260,000 annually.

Expenses include providing highly-specialized veterinary care and transportation costs when manatees are released, while a large percentage of the funds go towards maintaining a healthy diet—primarily romaine lettuce supplemented by kale, carrots and potatoes—for the manatees. Manatees eat 10 to 20 percent of their body weight each day, depending on their size and age, resulting in annual food costs which can reach $75,000 each year.

To make a contribution to the Museum’s Manatee Care Program or other programs, call 941-746-4131, ext. 35, visit the secure donation link available through www.southfloridamuseum.org or mail a check payable to “South Florida Museum” to P.O. Box 9265, Bradenton, FL 34306 with any special designation noted.

Release courtesy South Florida Museum

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