Belton Elementary School, located in the quaint upstate town of Belton, SC, held their annual Earth Day celebration on April 21, and invited a couple of us from the South Carolina Aquarium to take part. The kids performed skits, songs and videos about keeping our planet healthy and listened intently to a presentation about the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Care Center, including an update on the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery opening in just a month. The afternoon climaxed when the students presented their earnings from the Love the Loggerheads Read-A-Thon. Needless to say, we were stunned to see the total on the check was $9,120.50! This is more than double their biggest fundraising year in the past and brings the school to a grand total of over $24,000.00! These funds come at a critical time, as the Aquarium is having the busiest start to the local stranding season since the program began in 2000. As a non-profit organization, these funds are critical to this program’s success.
We would like to send our most sincere thanks to the staff and children at Belton Elementary who work so hard to be good stewards of the environment and to support the Sea Turtle Care Center. Also, a huge thanks goes to the Belton community for supporting these children in their fundraising efforts. Lastly, we know this would not be possible without Kate Byrd, a passionate educator and a great inspiration to the kids, our future leaders! Thank you, Kate!