By Kate Knepper

Mote Marine Laboratory is sending heartfelt gratitude to the southwest Florida community for making more than 430 gifts totaling $49,268 to the Lab online, along with several generous offline gifts, during the May 1-2 Giving Challenge. Mote ranked 12th for dollars raised among 635 other participating nonprofits.

With that community support amplified by matching funds, $104,239 total was raised for Mote! This includes an incredible match from The Patterson Foundation and a very generous match from Mote’s Board Chairman Emeritus Gene Beckstein and his wife, Anne, from their Beckstein Charitable Foundation.

This year, Mote is honored to be selected as one of the Best Giving Challenge Originals who each received a $2,000 grant sponsored by the Manatee Community Foundation. Mote was also awarded $500, as one of the first 50 nonprofits to get 50 unique donors, and an additional $100 social media prize from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Mote cannot thank each of its donors enough for helping to advance the Lab’s important mission of today’s research for tomorrow’s oceans.

“Thanks to the Giving Challenge, Mote Marine Laboratory is able to conduct innovative scientific research that is essential for improving the health of our oceans to conserve our most precious resources for future generations,” said Mote President & CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby.

To thank the community during the Giving Challenge, Mote hosted the free community event “Om for the Oceans,” which drew more than 60 people. The Giving Challenge inspires community members to “Be The One,” and Mote staff are thankful to everyone who came out, as one, to say “Om for the Oceans” and create a better marine environment.

Together, the community raised more than $11.7 million in just 24 hours for 636 local nonprofits, thanks to support from The Patterson Foundation. In total, six combined Giving Challenges have helped to provide more than $40 million in unrestricted funding to numerous area nonprofits since 2012.

The 2018 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation.

Mote — an independent, nonprofit marine science institution — offers a huge THANKS to everyone who supported the Lab and, in turn, gave back to the sea.