Home Education Sea Turtle Fundraiser Raises Over $65,000 for Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center

Sea Turtle Fundraiser Raises Over $65,000 for Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park hosted its inaugural “C.A.R.E. on the Coast” sea turtle fundraiser event on Saturday, May 4, 2024, to resounding success. Benefiting the non-profit Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center and its tireless sea turtle conservation efforts, the event saw an outpouring of support from the local community and beyond.

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The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center, staffed by a dedicated team of employees and volunteers, works steadfastly to provide essential medical care to its sea turtle patients, public conservation education, and facility maintenance. In 2023 alone, the center rehabilitated over 130 stranded or injured sea turtles, underscoring the critical need for continued support. With each turtle rehabilitation costing approximately $20,000, events like “C.A.R.E. on the Coast” play a pivotal role in sustaining these efforts.

Attendees were treated to an all-inclusive vibrant atmosphere filled with live music from local DJ Zoran and steel drummer Dex Daley. Culinary delights from vendors such as Rockin’ Tacos, Harry T’s, Swiftly Catered, and Emerald Coast Vibe tantalized taste buds, while educational booths from organizations like the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Coastal Resource Team and Ocean Strike Team provided valuable insights into marine conservation.

Guests had the opportunity to engage with Gulfarium’s resident penguins and reptiles, as well as learn about the intricate processes involved in rehabilitating injured sea turtles at the C.A.R.E. Center. A highlight of the event was the dolphin presentation, showcasing the importance of conservation for all marine animals.

Patrick Berry, CEO of Gulfarium and Director of the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center, expressed heartfelt gratitude to attendees for their unwavering support. Top event sponsor Okaloosa Gas was recognized for their generous contribution, without which the event would not have been possible.

Tabitha Siegfried, Stranding Coordinator at Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center, emphasized the indispensable role of community support in the center’s success, stating, “Events like C.A.R.E. on the Coast, where we can share what we do with all of you in such a fun and exciting way, are instrumental in ensuring the continued operation of the C.A.R.E. Center and the preservation of our marine ecosystems and local sea turtle population.”

Thanks to the generosity of attendees and sponsors, over $65,000 was raised for the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center and its vital sea turtle conservation efforts. Looking ahead, the Gulfarium team eagerly anticipates the future of this event and invites the community to mark their calendars for the return of C.A.R.E. on the Coast in Spring 2025.

For more information about the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center and its conservation initiatives, visit gulfarium.com/carecenter.