Taking Steps in Michigan to Help the Manatees

5K Run
The Save the Manatee Michigan 5K is an exhilarating event for all. The funds raised help endangered manatees. (Photo by Cora Berchem.)

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

Note: A high resolution jpeg (300 dpi) of a manatee image and last year’s race are available upon request.

In Harrison Township, Michigan, manatee fans will gather on May 17th for the 11th annual Save the Manatee 5K Run, 2 Mile Fun Walk, Mini Manatee Mile. The race, held at the Huron-Clinton Lake St. Clair Metropark, benefits Save the Manatee Club and helps further their work protecting endangered manatees and their habitats in Florida, as well as supporting programs in other countries.

The ever-popular Michigan 5K embraces family fun and friendly competition. Race director, Lesley Argiri, and her tireless efforts on the manatee’s behalf, has raised a total to date of $86,500 for Save the Manatee Club, an award-winning international nonprofit conservation and manatee welfare organization based in Maitland, Florida. Argiri, a biology teacher from L’Anse Creuse High School in Harrison Township, Michigan, enthusiastically engages her students, volunteers, and community in all aspects of the race event. “I’m always striving to grow the race and continue to improve it and make it fun for everyone,” says Argiri. “We had almost 1,200 runners and walkers last year. It’s absolutely thrilling to see so many people come out for the race to help such a worthy, dear-to-my-heart cause.”

Funds from the race 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.

South River Elementary (L’Anse Creuse Public Schools) in Harrison Township started a Run Club a couple of years ago for 5th graders. The students practice six weeks leading up to the Save the Manatee race, where they use the Mini Manatee Mile as their culminating event. South River Elementary’s Physical Education teacher and Run Club Director, Jeremy Kozak, says he thoroughly enjoys the race. “This is an extremely well run event each year we participate in it," remarks Jeremy. “The kids have a blast and the smiles on their faces say everything. Look for us again this year and many years to come.”

Early race registration before May 2nd 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 2014 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 $7.00 per vehicle. New this year – Save the Manatee Club will have an education table at the event and participants are encouraged to Adopt-A-Manatee® on the spot.

The Club’s Executive Director, Patrick Rose, says, “We can’t thank Lesley enough for all her hard work and devotion, and it’s very moving to see so many Michiganders supporting our mission of saving endangered manatees.”

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