Fripp Turtle Team donates big to South Carolina Aquarium
Every July the volunteers with the Fripp Island Turtle Patrol organize the Turtle Crawl 5K race to raise funds for the program’s supplies and also to donate to other area turtle programs. Last summer’s event was the biggest ever and the team was able to donate a whopping $11,000 to the Sea Turtle Hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.
Donations from this year’s event totaled over $14,000,” said organizer Janie Lackman. “The bulk of these funds was given to the Sea Turtle Hospital in Charleston because they provide direct care for our sick and injured turtles we find here on Fripp,” she said. “It’s the largest donation we have made to them to date.”
The event, originally started by a local family, the Eylers, is coming up on its 10th year and has grown each summer. July’s race gave Fripp its largest turnout to date with over 375 participants and hundreds of other spectators.
“We are blown away by the team’s incredible efforts again this year,” said Samantha Mills of the S.C. Aquarium. “We are so grateful to for all that they do for our beloved sea turtles.”
Additional donations from the proceeds were made to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, the Coastal Conservation League, Fripp’s neighbors over at Friends of Hunting Island and also the Fripp Audubon Club.
“We’ve been fortunate to have a great group of sponsors both on and off the island,” Lackman said. “With friends here on Fripp including NALU Paddle Boarding, Fripp Island Real Estate, Sand & Seas Builders, Springtide Market & Deli, Mangos, A&D Builders and The Fripp Ship and Fripp Island Resort; and off-island friends including Boondocks Restaurant, Barefoot Bubba’s, eatstayplaybeaufort.com and PickleJuice Productions, the amount of overall support for our turtles is overwhelming.”
Coincidentally, it’s been a very busy season. Fripp Island’s beach also set a record this sea turtle season with the largest number of turtle nests turning out over 9,500 eggs.
Save the date for the 10th Annual Turtle Crawl 5k on July 14th, 2017. It’s sure to be a lot of fun, and an important event benefiting lots of local turtle programs, not just here on Fripp Island.