Go Miles For Manatees In Michigan

5K Run
Run for the manatees on May 18th. It’s fun and inspiring! Photo by Brian McDonald.

For further information, contact:

Janice Nearing,
Director of Public Relations
Save the Manatee Club
Phone: (407) 539-0990
E-mail: jnearing@

Lesley Argiri                                  
L’Anse Creuse High School 
37855 De Prez Ct.     
Harrison Twp., MI 48045
Phone: (586) 783-6729
E-mail: largiri1@hotmail.com

For Immediate Release:
April 23, 2012
Note: A high resolution jpeg (300 dpi) of a manatee image and last year’s race are available upon request.

It’s an event where everybody comes away feeling like a winner. Michigan’s annual Save the Manatee 5K Run, 2 Mile Fun Walk, Mini Manatee Mile, raises funds for Save the Manatee Club, which helps protect endangered manatees in Florida and around the world. This year’s race on May 18th, held at the Huron-Clinton Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township, marks the 10th anniversary of the popular 5K.

The woman behind it all is race director, Lesley Argiri, a biology teacher from L’Anse Creuse High School in Harrison Township, Michigan, who, with the aid of her students, volunteers, and community, has raised over $69,500 for the Club. “I am so excited about the 2013 manatee race! We have some new surprises in store for our runners and walkers,” says Argiri.

The Club, a nonprofit conservation and manatee welfare organization based in Maitland, Florida, has been the voice for manatees since 1981, when it was co-founded by renowned singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, and former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor, Bob Graham. Funds from the race will help with manatee research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts; education and public awareness projects; conservation work to protect manatees and their habitat; and programs in the United States, Central and South America, the Wider Caribbean, and West Africa.

Michigander Jill Piasecki has participated several times in the annual 5K. In an e-mail to Lesley, Jill writes, “I have a running group of about eight people, and we try to run a race every week or two. Of all the races throughout the year, everyone’s favorite is the Save the Manatee 5K. I am highly convinced that it’s the passion of you and your students, and the energy that surrounds everyone. I make a point to come to this race every year. Thanks for the inspiration!”

Lindsay Douglas from Windsor, Ontario writes, “Thank you for a wonderful run for a wonderful organization. This was our first run in the USA, and my sister’s first, who has a disability. She did the Mini Manatee Mile and was so proud to win her first race medal.”

Early registration before May 3rd costs $20 for runners, $18 for walkers, and $15 for participants in the Mini Manatee Mile. Fees increase for late and race day registrations. A newly-designed 2013 race t-shirt is included with each entry fee. All those interested can register at the race website at www.savethemanatee5k.com. Race participants also receive a registration packet of special items. A variety of trophies, medals, awards, and door prizes can be won, with age group awards for 5K runners only, and finishing medals for Mini Mile participants. Manatee medals are awarded to the top three finishers in the 5K. The course is USATF certified, and the race is scored using the Chrono Track D-Tag. The Mini Mile and 2 Mile Walk are clock-timed. The entry fee does not include the park entrance fee of $5.00 per vehicle.

“Join us on May 18th for a great event the whole family will enjoy,” says Argiri. “And you’ll be helping the manatees we all love, too!

Save the Manatee Club’s Executive Director, Patrick Rose, will attend this year’s historic 10th anniversary event. “I’m really looking forward to the race,” says Rose. “At a time when manatees are experiencing unprecedented mortality and other extreme hardships in Florida, it is especially gratifying to know that we have such a great outpouring of support in Michigan.”

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