Off and Running in Michigan for Manatees

5K Run
Many join together at the MI 5K each year to help the manatees!

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

For Immediate Release

Note: High resolution jpegs (300 dpi) of Hope the inflatable manatee, last year’s race, and a Florida manatee, are available upon request.

It has become a Michigan tradition! Over a thousand people are expected to meet on May 16th for the 12th annual Save the Manatee 5K Run, 2 Mile Fun Walk, Mini Manatee Mile in Harrison Township, Michigan. The popular race, held at Huron-Clinton Lake St. Clair Metropark, benefits Save the Manatee Club, an award-winning international nonprofit conservation and manatee welfare organization based in Maitland, Florida.

Race director, Lesley Argiri, a biology teacher from L’Anse Creuse High School in Harrison Township, has raised a total to date of $100,000 for the Club. Students, volunteers, and the community all help to make the race a success each year. “I love manatees, and I know there are a lot of Michiganders who feel the same way I do, so it makes perfect sense to help manatees whether you live in Michigan, or anywhere else – not just in Florida,” says Lesley.

New this year for manatee fans everywhere is the Save the Manatee 5K Virtual Run. For the first time, people from around the world have the opportunity to participate in a virtual run that helps raise funds for Florida’s endangered manatees. The race can be completed anywhere: run a favorite trail, stroll the neighborhood, jog on a treadmill, or kayak in support of manatees. Registration includes a manatee t-shirt, race bib, and finisher’s medal. Click the following link to register anytime for the virtual run up until midnight of April 30th, 2015.

All those interested can click the following link to register at the Manatee 5K Race website.

Each race participant, including four-legged canine friends, receive finishing medals. A newly-designed 2015 race t-shirt is included with each entry fee. Manatee medals are awarded to the top three finishers in the 5K, as well as trophies for male and female overall and masters winners. The 5K is scored using the Chrono Track B-Tag, and 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.

Stacey DuFord from “Bobby & Stacey in the Morning” on 104.3 WOMC-FM in Southfield, Michigan, will be the master of ceremonies at this year’s race. “I love people who run for a cause,” says Stacey. “And I have a soft spot for animals; especially those that are endangered. I may never get to see a real manatee, but I want to make sure they are around for others to see.”

Cora Berchem, Save the Manatee Club’s Multimedia Specialist, will be back again this year with Hope, the giant inflatable manatee. Look for Cora at the Club’s education table where race participants can pick up free calendars, while they last, and also adopt one of 35 real manatees living in Florida.

Funds from the race help with manatee research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts; education and public awareness projects; and conservation work to protect manatees and their habitat in the United States, Central and South America, the Wider Caribbean, and West Africa.

Register for the 5K on May 16th, or participate in the first Virtual Run. For more information, contact Lesley Argiri at

Hope the inflatable manatee.
"Hope," the giant inflatable manatee, is very popular with race participants of all ages.

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