Adopt-A-Manatee for Mom or Dad!
By Janice Nearing

 


Last year in honor of Mother’s Day, Rebecca Miller from northern Virginia, adopted an endangered manatee for her mom, Gayle. “I knew my mom loved manatees and that she would be extremely pleased to receive a gift that would help them,” said Rebecca.

From the 32 manatees featured in Save the Manatee Club’s three Florida adoption programs, Rebecca chose Howie. For her donation, the Club sent her mom an adoption certificate, a color photo of playful, popular Howie, his biography, and a fact-filled handbook. The adoption also included a subscription to the Club’s quarterly newsletter, The Manatee Zone, and the bi-monthly e-newsletter, Paddle Tales.

This year for Mother’s Day, each new member who joins the Adopt-A-Manatee program online for a $35 tax-deductible donation, will receive a colorful beaded bracelet with manatee charm, along with a cute, plush 8-inch manatee. Give these to mom along with her manatee adoption, or keep one, or both for yourself!

A third-year biology major, Rebecca discovered manatees with her family when she was a youngster vacationing in Key Largo. While there, they observed manatees in the wild and were disturbed by the number that were scarred from injuries caused by motorboats. “My concerns are that manatees must keep their endangered status so they can continue to get the attention they need, and Florida boaters need to slow down to reduce manatee injuries and deaths,” she explained.

Last year, Aaron Levy from Washington, DC, broke free of traditional gift-giving and adopted a manatee for his dad, Barry, who lives in Massachusetts. “My dad already has more ties and golf paraphernalia than he knows what to do with,” explained Aaron. “I wanted to get him something different and he certainly wasn’t expecting a manatee for Father’s Day, although I know he has a soft spot for endangered animals. Of course, I also realize it is a gift that supports a good cause.”

Aaron adopted Ariel for his dad from Save the Manatee Club’s adoption program at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa, Florida. This Father’s Day, each new member who joins the Adopt-A-Manatee program online for a $35 tax-deductible donation, will receive the Club’s official T-shirt with a beautiful full color underwater design by renowned artist, Nancy Blauers, whose artwork is also featured on Florida’s new official manatee automobile license tag.

If you really want to evoke that twinkle in your dad’s eye, you can also enter the Club’s donation drawing to name a baby manatee after him. Go to
http://www.savethemanatee.org/namesake_drawing_form.cfm to find out more.

The population of the slow-moving aquatic marine mammals is estimated to be about 3,000 concentrated year-round in Florida. Manatees are listed as endangered at the state, federal, and international levels.

“A record number of manatee deaths in 2006, and a high level in 2007, is dismaying and unacceptable to Floridians and all those around the world who care about these unique and defenseless animals,” said Patrick Rose, Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club.

The Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee program helps to fund education and public awareness endeavors; research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release projects; and advocacy and legal efforts to help protect manatees and their habitat. Save the Manatee Club was founded in 1981 by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett and former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor, Bob Graham.

For more information, contact Save the Manatee Club at 500 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751, call (800) 432-JOIN (5646), visit: www.savethemanatee.org


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