“Manatee Season” is here, when manatees return to warm water refuges in Florida during the cooler winter months. Come volunteer with us as we set up education booths across the state at a variety of festivals and fairs. If you’re passionate about manatees and have some time to spare, fill out our Online Volunteer Application (see link on this page).
Crystal River Manatee Festival
Club volunteers were bundled up for the 31st annual Manatee Festival in downtown Crystal River. Although the weather was on the chilly side, it didn’t deter the many visitors who look forward to the fun festivities every January. Save the Manatee Club’s education booth was popular as ever, offering manatee adoptions, numerous donations items, t-shirts, 2018 wall calendars, a plush manatee draw, and a wide variety of educational handouts, including manatee stickers and color/activity booklet for the kids. Many thanks to our dedicated volunteers (we hope they have thawed out by now): Trinket Mason, Cora Berchem, Stephanie D’Amico, Sandra Boyd, Daria and Nicolas Johnson, Mary and Omar Bourassa, Craig Rouse, Susan and Hannah Aungst, Jaclynn Merk, Melissa Sunshine, Kelly Miller, Janneke Bogyo, Sue Carey Lindholm, and Helen Spivey, co-chair of the Club’s Board of Directors.
We Need Volunteers!
You can help Save the Manatee Club by becoming a Club volunteer. SMC volunteers staff tables at manatee-related events, engage in speaking presentations, help out in the SMC offices, write letters and send e-mails on issues of concern to manatees, and report information to manatee researchers. You can make a difference for manatees!
If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out our Online Volunteer Application.
For those wishing to inquire about earning community service hours at the Club’s office in Maitland, Florida, please do not fill out the Online Volunteer Application form. For eligibility and availability, contact Janice Nearing, the Club’s Volunteer Activities Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 407-539-0990.
Prior to living in Longwood, Florida, Laura Frenchik, who has been a Save the Manatee Club volunteer since May of 2015, resided in SW Pennsylvania. “I love living in Florida because of the much warmer temps, family, beaches and of course, lots of sunshine and the manatees,” said Laura. Having always loved manatees, Laura says she is very passionate about protecting them and the places in which they live.
Laura signed up to help staff the Club’s education booths at Florida festivals, mostly in Volusia County, including the Blue Spring Manatee Festival, Turtle Day and Bird Day at the Marine Science Center, the Wildlife Festival at Lyonia Environmental Center, the Natural History Festival at the Museum of Arts & Sciences, and SMC Education Days at Blue Spring State Park.
“I feel that educating the public is the best defense for the manatees,” explains Laura. “The more that people know about manatees, their life cycles, and their needs, the more people will want to help. People are very open to offering support if they understand the “why” behind it.”
In her time off from work, Laura also enjoys gardening, scrapbooking, photography, walking her dogs, and spending time with her granddaughter and family. Her adopted manatee is Lily from the Club’s Blue Spring adoption program.
Melissa and Mike Fishman from Rockledge in Brevard County, Florida wear their volunteer T-shirts and caps whenever they table at events for Save the Manatee Club. Join our volunteer team and earn points through the Volunteer Rewards Program to get your free shirt and cap.
Earn It, Pin It, Show It!
Save the Manatee Club presents a variety of service pins to further recognize and honor the efforts and importance of our loyal volunteer/members. The special, customized pins are earned by registered volunteers who staff education tables for the Club at events, help out in our Maitland office, or give manatee presentations for the Club at local schools, libraries, etc. Wear the pins on the Club’s lanyard which holds the volunteer name tag, or on the Club’s volunteer cap or t-shirt.
See the Pins